MGD Treatment: Intense Pulsed Light

MGD Treatment: Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Do you experience significant discomfort because of dry eyes? We highly recommend that you see an eye doctor and get examined to rule out or diagnose MGD. Meibomian gland dysfunction happens to 86% of people who suffer from dry eye. The good news is that it is treatable, and you can find an effective therapy for it right here at Eye Surgeons of Indiana.

Symptoms of MGD

You may have MGD if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Frequently red eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Gritty or sandy feeling
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Eye fatigue

These symptoms are very similar to dry eyes, which explains why most people no longer consult a doctor. They try to alleviate their discomfort with some home remedies instead (e.g., applying a towel moistened with warm water on the eyes, resting the eyes by spending a few minutes looking at a distance, blinking frequently, increasing water intake, using artificial tears).

It should be telling if your condition doesn’t improve despite faithfully following these home remedies for dry eyes. Doctors can diagnose MGD quickly: if thick, toothpaste-like secretions emerge when they apply pressure on the bottom eyelid, it’s likely to be MGD.

In some cases, however, the meibomian glands become so plugged that no secretions emerge at all when doctors compress the lower eyelid. This becomes a problem because the oil that the meibomian glands produce is necessary for maintaining the tear film that coats the surface of the eye. When the glands fail to release the oil, the tear film “breaks,” exposing and drying out parts of the eye that are no longer covered by the tear film. This causes the “dry eyes” sensation and gives patients a strong urge to rub their eyes.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy: An Unconventional Treatment

There are several treatment options for MGD, but the use of intense pulsed light therapy is what’s regarded by the medical community as “groundbreaking.”

IPL is a therapy commonly used for reversing skin damage due to photoaging and treating skin acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions characterized by discoloration and swelling. It is non-invasive and uses pulses of light to target and reduce inflammation in the blood vessels that appear beneath the skin.

The best part about IPL is it is non-invasive and only affects the abnormal blood vessels and blocked meibomian glands. The healthy cells around the targeted sites are unchanged, so there is no need for a recovery period.

What to Expect During an IPL Treatment for MGD

When used for treating MGD, patients wear disposable eye shields over their closed eyes. The specialist then applies ultrasonic gel around the eyes before using IPL machine to administer light pulses near the bottom of the eye shields. Full face treatment can also be done to improve results and cosmetic outcomes.

The procedure is painless and doesn’t cause any discomfort. Many patients see good results after the first and second round of treatment. IPL treatment for MGD typically consists of four sessions over two to three months.

Eye Surgeons of Indiana can administer IPL Therapy to treat meibomian gland dysfunction. Find out if this procedure is the remedy to your dry eye symptoms. Schedule an appointment with our eye specialists.