Data shows that more than 26 million people in the United States suffer from dry eyes. This often-times chronic condition typically fails to respond to over-the-counter products like eyedrops or artificial tears. If you suffer from dry eyes, despite diligent efforts at proper eye care, you should schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to discuss your options. Depending on the root cause of your dry eyes, Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, or IPL, may be the treatment that provides you real relief.
Underlying Causes of Dry Eyes
Understanding the underlying causes of dry eye is helpful in determining what course of treatment makes the most sense for you. Dry eye is typically the result of one of three root causes. These are:
- Decreased Tear Production
- Increased Tear Evaporation
- Imbalance in the Makeup of Tears
If decreased tear production is causing dry eyes, this often is the result of aging, certain medications, or even tear duct damage. Decreased tear production can also result from medical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and thyroid disorders.
If increased tear evaporation is causing dry eye, a common reason for the condition is a failure to blink and lubricate your eyes appropriately. This can happen if you spend a good deal of time working at a computer. Increased tear evaporation can also be caused by smoke, dry air and wind.
Finally, dry eyes can also result from an imbalance in tear film, which consists of three basic layers. These tear film layers are oil, water, and mucus. This imbalance oftentimes occurs as the Meibomian glands along the edge of your eyes become clogged.
A Look at Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Dry Eye
An effective treatment for some types of dry eyes is Intense Pulsed Light therapy, or IPL. Specifically, IPL is a recommended treatment for dry eyes caused by issues with the Meibomian glands.
In basic terms, IPL involves the use of brief, powerful bursts of light aimed at your lower eyelid, which is the location of the Meibomian glands. IPL closes the blood vessels that secrete the proteins responsible for the malfunction of Meibomian glands.
IPL is a simple, painless treatment. It can be performed in a matter of minutes at your eye doctor’s office.
Typically four initial treatments are required to help the Meibomian glands function optimally. These are undertaken over a four-month time period. When the initial course of therapy concludes, your eye doctor may recommend maintenance treatments every six to 12 months.
Get on the Pathway to Dry Eye Relief Today
The experienced team of optometrists and ophthalmologists at Matossian Eye Associates can consult with you at your convenience to discuss your eye care needs, including addressing dry eyes. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (800) 708-8800 today, or click here to visit us online.