What makes IRPL (Intense Regulated Pulsed Light) effective in treating dry eyes?
In-office dry eye therapy at our Markham Clinic
New breakthrough in dry eye therapy
Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL) is a non-invasive and innovative treatment that has recently come to Canada. We’re excited to be one of the few practices in the country to offer this type of technology, which produces long-lasting dry eye relief to our patients. Schedule your dry eye consultation and put a stop to your persistent dry eyes.
What is the difference between this innovative IRPL with conventional IPL?
While IRPL is designed specifically for treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), is also a therapy for certain types of dry eyes. This well-known technology, commonly used by dermatologist and originally designed in treating rosacea and acne, is used by specialists to treat dry eyes related to rosacea.
In studies when IPL is compared with IRPL, the results of IPL show immediate improvement, but the improved scenario diminishes in a course of months and requires more regular sessions. On the other hand, IRPL is a much more precise and targeted treatment compared to IPL. Therefore, it can restore the normal activity of the meibomian glands with very rapid improvement for the patient from the very first session (20-25% more effective than first session with IPL) and the long-lasting effect is expected for minimum 6 months up to 3 years.
What should I expect during the treatment sessions?
IRPL technology is shown to be safe to use, non-invasive, painless, and quick to perform (only a few minutes).
The scheduled sessions for optimal results should be as followed:
- Day 1
- Day 15
- Day 45 (1 month later)
- Day 75 (optional or as needed)
IRPL offers prolonged relief of dry eyes and maintains the functioning of the meibomian glands, resetting its ability to produce healthy oils and tear film several months or years after the therapy.
What makes Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL) effective in treating dry eyes?
E>Eye is first in the world using patented IRPL (Intense Regulated Pulsed Light) technology specifically designed to treat dry eyes, by targeting meibomian gland functioning. This is a new and improved breakthrough in dry eye treatment compared the conventional Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL).
Although dry eye disease can be complex, one of the most common causes of chronic dry eyes is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), which can cause poor oil secretion. As a result, the compromised lipid layer leads to unstable tear film, excessive loss of tears or insufficient production.
This can cause the symptoms of:
- light sensitivity
- blurred vision
- eye fatigue
- and other discomforts
What is the technology behind IRPL?
E>Eye is a dry eye treatment using regulated, polychromatic pulsed light (applied on the lower lid just above the cheeks) to stimulate the parasympathetic nerve connected to the meibomian glands, and as a result, signals it to regenerate, stimulate oil secretion, and stabilize the tear film. This energy is transferred precisely, timely, and uses perfectly calibrated light pulses to stimulate the glands.
This effective treatment targets all aspects of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction by:
- improving gland function
- unclogging glands
- preserving gland structure
- preventing gland atrophy
- reducing inflammation
- restoring tear quality
- offering relief from dry eyes
Walk me through the IRPL procedure:
1. The patient is resting comfortably in treatment chair.
2. Safety eye wear is provided for the patient and to be worn at all times.
3. Optical gel is applied generously along treatment areas (this includes the under eye, cheekbone, and into the temporal areas.
4. A series of flashes will be given on each eye during the session. Five flashes will be applied under the eye area (just above the cheeks) of one eye, starting from inner to outer and repeat on the other eye. It takes about a few minutes to complete.
5. Once treatment is complete, gel is cleaned off and eye protection is removed. There is no recovery time needed.
* For some individuals with more skin sensitivity, it is recommended to wear sun protection (Ie. sunglasses, hat, and/or sunscreen) or avoid direct sunlight/ tanning immediately after session.
What results should I expect from IRPL?
Treatment results: 90% satisfaction rate
Other leaders of eye care in France, New Zealand, and China that participated in the clinical study using IRPL:
-There was a 90% satisfaction rate after only 2 sessions (day 1 and day 15) and expresses improvement in symptoms of dry eye discomfort. The perceived symptom of relief was immediate after treatment and lasted several days after 1st treatment. Following, subsequent sessions (2nd and 3rd), the symptom of relief was prolonged.
Clinical measurements correlated to patients' perception of dry eye relief
IRPL treatments lead to improvement in the function of glands (approximately ~2hours following treatment). Improvements in tear film and tear-break up time are seen in clinic. Success of treatment depends on compliance to scheduled sessions over the course of a couple of months. It is rather time-sensitive and critical to have treatment around the suggested timeline (day 1, day 15, day 45, and optional day 75) to produce optimal results. Those suffering with more severe dry eyes may notice improvement of symptoms and clinical measurements after the completion of the full treatment plan.
Efficacy in 85% of cases
Lasting effects: Over 3 years of 60% of E>Eye-patients (but minimum of 6 months and up to 3 years)
90% satisfaction rate after only 2 sessions
— Clinical studies in conducted in France, New Zealand, and China
Is IRPL the right treatment for my dry eyes?
You have persistent or chronic dry eye symptoms
Other treatments, like eye drops, warm compress, etc, have not provided long-term relief
You have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
IRPL is not recommended for those that:
- are pregnant
- have a pacemaker
- have darker skin tone (level 6)
Consult with physician before IRPL if:
- have history of epilepsy
- take photosensitive medication
- undergoing dermatological skin resurfacing treatments
Dry eye disease is rather complex and often involve the lacrimal glands, eyelids, and tear film. The functioning of the ocular surface tissues such as epithelial, inflammatory, immune, and goblet cells are also important in the recovery of dry eye disease. Other causes of dry eye disease can be due to acute or chronic preexisting health conditions, hormonal changes, long-term medication use, and other health issues that should be co-managed with your family physician.