Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL) is a form of photodynamic therapy that utilizes light, with wavelengths ranging from 500 to 1200 nm which excludes the harmful ultraviolet radiation.
The light is directed to the skin tissue and is then absorbed resulting in the production of heat (>80°C).
The usage of IPL has generally been for dermatological procedures and in some cases, the treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers.
It has recently been seen that IPL is effective in treating evaporative dry eye owing to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
IPL is considered to be a safe treatment option.
No severe adverse events have been reported.
Minor adverse effects are relatively rare and include hypopigmentation of the skin (more common in darker skin types) and blistering of the skin (if used improperly).
RECENTLY PUBLISHED STUDIES
As a complement therapy to IPL meibomian gland expression (MGX) is a technique in which pressure is applied to the meibomian glands to assist them in secreting compounds and removing any potential blockages, which can cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
In a study performed on 100 patients with diagnosis of MGD and DED who underwent 4 IPL sessions, there was positive change in objective clinical examination findings and subjective scoring data, suggesting that IPL is an effective treatment for patients with evaporative DED.
In another study, 45 patients were treated with IPL and meibomian gland expression (MGX) or MGX alone for 8 treatment sessions.
A significant improvement in lipid layer grade was apparent in the IPL-MGX group, but was not observed in the control group (MGX alone).
The combination of IPL and MGX improved ocular symptoms in patients with MGD and is thus promising modality for treatment of this condition.