July 31, 2022
Do you know the importance of tears? They are the body’s natural way of keeping the eyes lubricated, moist, and comfortable. When you blink, a film of tear fluid covers the eye’s surface at a certain thickness for a given period of time. That is what experts call tear stability.
Importance of Tears
In addition to keeping the eye moist, tears play a critical role in maintaining healthy eye function.
Supplying nutrients and oxygen to the eyes
Preventing dryness and rinsing the eye from external irritants
Healing damage to the eye’s surface
Lubrication allowing for proper light refraction
Dry Eye Disease
Do you suffer from dry eyes? If so, your eyes may have multiple contributing factors. Tears and tear function play a role, but also meibomian glands can have a large impact on dry eyes.
Your tears are responsible for lubricating and keeping your eyes comfortable, nourished, and healthy. To maintain the correct quantity and quality of tears, your tear film should have the right oil, mucus, and water concentration. An issue with any of these components can lead to an imbalance and affect your tear production. That will likely lead to dry eye syndrome.
About 86 percent of dry eye syndrome cases result from meibomian gland dysfunction. These oil glands line the edges of the lower and upper eyelids at the base of the eyelashes. They secrete the oil that coats the tear film and eyes to prevent tears from evaporating too fast.
When meibomian gland dysfunction becomes a chronic issue, it can permanently damage the tear film. That can cause dry eye syndrome. Fortunately, there are ways to address this problem. One of the most effective ways is through Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL).
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
People with dry eye syndrome often experience the following symptoms:
Foreign object sensation in the eye
Difficulty reading for long periods
Difficulty using a computer for prolonged periods
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Dry Eyes
Intense pulsed light therapy addresses the underlying cause of most dry eye symptoms. Created to address dermatological issues, IPL treatment uses brief, powerful light pulses in specific wavelengths to heat the skin around your meibomian glands. That helps unblock the glands by melting obstructions, thereby increasing the oil production needed to form healthy tears.
How It Works
IPL is an in-office treatment that is very effective at treating the underlying causes of dry eyes. The procedure involves gentle light pulses on the skin surrounding the eyes to eliminate and reduce inflammation.
The light pulses melt thick secretions, unclog the meibomian glands, and release the oil buildup. The treatment stimulates the natural flow of oil into your tear film and stabilizes it, thereby improving the symptoms of dry eye syndrome and provides effective long-term relief.
If your chronic dry eye symptoms affect your quality of life and productivity, talk to your eye doctor about IPL therapy.
For more on intense pulsed light, call East Main Vision Clinic at (253) 780-0700 to reach our office in Puyallup, Washington.