Optilight Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment for Dry Eye Disease (DED), Blepharitis, Ocular Rosacea and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
Intense Pulsed Light is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction, and is now available at Clinica London.
The Consultant Ophthalmologists and Dermatologists at Clinica London are constantly seeking to innovate and find new treatments for their patients, ensuring you receive the best possible care for your eye or skin condition.
Optilight IPL is our latest in-clinic machine to treat dry eye disease (DED) and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), as well as many dermatological conditions such as rosacea, acne and skin pigmentation.
A full eye MGD Optilight IPL treatment plan includes 4 sessions, 2 to 8 weeks apart, followed by maintenance sessions at six months and a year.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Dry Eye Disease?
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is where there is a problem with the oily meibomian glands within the eyelids which open at the eyelid margins. The meibomian glands secrete the oily layer of the tears which stops the tears evaporating. A lack of oil leads to Evaporative Dry Eye Disease, EDED.
Tears are really important as they lubricate our eyes to keep them healthy. The tear film consists of 3 components: watery, mucus, and oil layers. Each of these components is essential to maintain the quality and quantity of the tears and clear comfortable vision. Dry eye disease occurs where there is a loss of homeostasis of the tear film.
When there is disfunction, the smooth ocular surface is disrupted. This can result in blurred vision, painful sore eyes, ache and heaviness, red-rimmed puffy eyelids, eyelash itchiness, scratchy or gritty eye feeling and often a measurable hyper-osmotic dry eye.
Meibomian glands and dry eyes
The meibomian glands are the oil glands that open on the edges of our eyelids, called the eyelid margin, and are found in the upper & lower eyelids. There are usually 25 to 30 small glands opening onto the lid margin in each eyelid, close to the eyelid lashes and tear film. These glands secrete the oil (meibum) which coats the eyes and tear film to prevent the tears from evaporating too quickly and leading to dryness.
Blocked meibomian glands
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is when the meibomian glands become blocked with thick secretions instead of clear oil flowing freely into the tear film, thus affecting tear quality. MGD develops slowly and can become acutely symptomatic when triggered by excess screen use, hormone changes, stress, pollen, allergy, diabetes and even pollution. MGD can lead to styes and chalazia.
It is estimated that 40 to 80% of the population in the UK suffer from dry eye due to MGD, occurring even in children and adolescents. Blame our lifestyle choices with the increased screen use and lack of going outside into fresh air.
Although dry eyes are more common in women and with increasing age, we are seeing an epidemic of MGD and painful sore dry eyes in young people, both boys and girls, requiring treatment.
80% of people with rosacea have meibomian gland dysfunction, where the inflamed tiny blood vessels called telangiectasia give the eyelids a red-looking margin and dry eye symptoms.
The Optilight IPL
Optilight IPL uses patented Lumenis Optimal Pulse Technology and is a precise new light therapy. It is light not a LASER. It is safe. It uses specific light filters with specific wavelengths to treat specific skin conditions, including MGD and rosacea. Optilight IPL
An initial course of 4 treatments is recommended for optimal effects in treating MGD and dry eye, then intermittent treatments when flare ups or at six monthly intervals.
We have found that many patients regain comfortable, clearer, brighter, more moist eyes without puffy red thickened eyelids and without pain, after treatment. Each treatment is cumulative in effect. You will have to have a consultation assessment with one of the Ophthalmic Consultants at Clinica to ensure that you are suitable for Optilight IPL and to plan your treatment plan. We often do Optilight with BlephEx which is a lid margin Micro-blepharo-exfoliation treatment for added benefit.
Mechanism of Treatment of MGD and Dry Eye Disease
● Significantly decreases high tear osmolarity and dry eye
● Treats the tiny blood vessels that perpetuate MGD inflammation
● Reduces delivery of inflammatory mediators to the tears
● Resets and restores meibomian gland function
What happens during the treatment?
This treatment is straightforward, painless and done as an out-patient. The eyelashes are protected by an eye shield and the skin areas around the eyelids cleaned and then coated with a coupling gel. The IPL light is bright but is not harmful to your eyes.
As the light is applied to the skin via a chilled sapphire crystal tip light glide placed on the gel you will notice a bright flash and likely experience a warm sensation. The treatment is gentle with minimum discomfort. The treatment itself will only take 15 minutes from start to finish.
The Ophthalmologist may do a meibomian gland expression immediately after the light treatment.
What happens after the treatment?
Your skin feels warm for about 20 minutes and may be more sensitive and delicate for the first few days. Don’t worry, this is normal!
Periorbital or cheek light redness caused by the IPL is minimal and transitory. You will be able to return to your regular days´ activities at work or at home immediately afterwards. You may use your normal cleaning routine and wear makeup if you wish to do so. We ask that you wear SPF Factor 50 and avoid retinol containing creams for a few days after treatment.
How can I get Optilight treatment?
Don’t leave it too long, if you suffer from Dry Eye Disease, Blepharitis, Ocular Rosacea and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) with blurred vision, aching sore red eyes, dry eyes and blepharitis, the new OptiLight IPL treatment could be the best treatment for you.
The IPL is also available at Clinica London for skin treatments by the dermatologists, more on this another time.