Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) FAQ
OptiLight by Lumenis
Dry eye disease is becoming increasingly common, affecting millions of people worldwide. This
chronic condition can significantly impact your life, sometimes making even the smallest of tasks
If you have eye pain, blurry vision, and dry or watery eyes, it could be a sign that you have dry
eye disease. But don’t worry! With an in-depth eye exam, our team can assess your vision and
eye health to get you the treatment you need.
With treatments like OptiLight by Lumenis, we can help manage your dry eye symptoms and get
you back to seeing clearly and comfortably. Keep reading to learn more about OptiLight by
Lumenis and how it can improve your life.
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease is a common eye condition that occurs when there is an issue with any one of
the three components of your tears. Your tears are made up of 3 distinct layers, all of which work together to keep your eyes healthy:
● The oily layer prevents your tears from evaporating too quickly
● The watery layer delivers nutrients to your eyes
● The mucus layer keeps your tear film stuck to the surface of your eyes
What are the 2 Types of Dry Eye Disease? There are two types of dry eye disease.
Evaporative Dry Eye (EDE)
EDE is the most common type of dry eye disease. This type of dry eye occurs when you lack the proper amount of oil in your tears. When this happens, your tears can evaporate too quickly, drying out your eyes. In some cases, EDE can be caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, a disorder where the meibomian glands in your eyes become blocked, limiting the amount of oil being produced for your tears.
Aqueous Tear Deficiency (ATD)
If you suffer from ATD, your eyes lack the aqueous layer in your tears. This means that your eyes aren’t producing enough tears to keep the eye moist, which can lead to irritating and uncomfortable symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease?
If you are suffering from dry eye disease, you may notice any of the following symptoms:
● A burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
● Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
● Irritated or overly-watery eyes
● Sensitivity to light or photophobia
● Eye redness, blurred vision, or eye fatigue
● A sensation of having something in your eyes
● Difficulty wearing contact lenses
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, book an appointment with your eye doctor to receive a dry eye disease diagnosis and get the treatment you need.
What Is OptiLight by Lumenis?
OptiLight by Lumenis is a safe, gentle, and effective treatment done to manage dry eye disease. This non-invasive procedure is the first and only FDA-approved intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment for dry eye management. OptiLight uses pulses of light precisely administered in the area below the eyes to reduce dry eye symptoms. This 10-15 minute procedure can relieve dry eye symptoms by:
● Increasing tear break-up time
● Reducing the amount of demodex mites and bacteria around your eyes
● Decreasing inflammation inflammation
● Improving meibomian gland functionality
What to Expect
If your eye doctor has recommended the OptiLight treatment, they will go over everything you can expect before, during, and after your appointment.
Preparing for Your Appointment – To prepare for your appointment you should avoid:
● Using skin brightening agents or serums for the week before your appointment
● Using tanning beds 1 month prior to your appointment
● Getting botox for at least 3 months before your appointment
● Taking oral isotretinoin, tetracycline, or doxycycline in the 3 months prior to your appointment
The OptiLight Treatment
This treatment is fast and simple, taking only 10–15 minutes. During your treatment your doctor will apply a cool gel on the treatment area and cover your eyes with shields to protect them. As light is applied to the skin, you may experience a warm or a tapping sensation, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
While side effects are uncommon, your eyes may feel slightly more dry or gritty for the day following your procedure. If you do experience dry eyes, you can use preservative-free artificial tears. Following your treatment, your skin will be sensitive, so we recommend avoiding sun exposure and wearing sunscreen.
Am I a Good Candidate for OptiLight by Lumenis?
How do you know if OptiLight is the right treatment for you? During an eye exam, your doctor can
determine whether or not it is the right option for you. In general, OptiLight isn’t recommended for patients who:
● Are taking certain medications, like Accutane
● Have active acne
● Suffer from certain skin disorders
● Are susceptible to keloid scarring
● Have severe scarring
● Have severely sunburned recently
Find Relief Today
You don’t have to live with the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye disease. With OptiLight by Lumenis, your symptoms can be managed effectively and efficiently, restoring your quality of life. Our team is always here to help you find relief from dry eyes. Book an appointment today to see how OptiLight by Lumenis can help you!
What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It has been used in the aesthetic world for nearly two decades as a skin rejuvenation treatment. It has been clinically found to improve dry eye disease in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction, and to reduce chronic inflammation.
How is the OptiLight IPL different?
The OptiLight device that South East Eye uses is the only FDA approved device for treating dry eye with IPL.
How does IPL work?
IPL is a non-invasive light-based therapy that targets inflammation and blepharitis, the root cause of dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction. Roughly 85% of patients with dry eye have meibomian gland dysfunction.
What are the skin benefits?
IPL improves skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation (age spots), and helps reduce microvascular vessels that cause the redness of skin often seen in patients with rosacea.
How many sessions will I need?
Typically, four (4) sessions spaced out by 3-4 weeks are needed. Then maintenance treatments may be needed 1-2x per year depending on efficacy of at-home therapies.
What should I expect after having an IPL treatment?
The skin may appear red and have a mild sunburn-like sensation that usually lasts for 4-8 hours, but can last up to 72 hours. In rare cases you may experience some very mild swelling. Pigmented areas may become darker initially and begin to flake after several days.
Can I use my FSA/HSA for this treatment?
Yes, you can!
What is the cost?
The cost for four full-face treatments along with meibomian gland thermal expression is $2,000. Individual follow-up treatments afterwards are $400.
Does IPL cure dry eye?
There is no cure for dry eye. Clinical studies have shown that if chronic dry eye disease is not properly managed the meibomian glands will atrophy and die off. IPL is a treatment program that helps maintain proper eye health and comfort, similar to regular cleaning appointments with your dentist.
Does my insurance cover an eye exam?
Many insurances cover routine eye exams, however, do check your specific insurance benefits. You will be financially responsible for payment of all co-pays, deductibles, and non-covered services.
Will my insurance cover both eyeglasses and contacts?
Usually not- it’s generally either or, not both. This is why we ask for all insurances so we can find the best way for you to maximize your benefits.
What do I need to bring for my appointment?
You will need a photo ID, all information for your insurances and medications. Please also bring any and all eyewear that you use such as your glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. If you have old records they are appreciated.
Can I come alone or do I need someone with me?
Unless you are a minor, generally have a caretaker or feel unable to drive after a dilation and want one done, you may come alone. Many people enjoy having a friend come with them to aid in selecting glasses and to ensure that if dilation is performed they can get home safely without having to worry about driving.
Do you speak other languages or provide translators?
Unfortunately no, at this time we are unable to provide multiple language support. There are many community health centers in our area however, and they have translating capabilities.
What happens if I’m late?
Patients who arrive more than 5 minutes late will be treated as walk-ins. We will still try to see you however, we will not disrupt the flow for patients who are on time or early for their scheduled appointments. At 10 minutes past we will consider you a no-show.
What is your no-show, cancellation policy?
You must contact us at least 8 business hours before your appointment to cancel without penalty. If you have two cancellations and/or no-shows we reserve the right to refuse future appointment requests.
Will my eyes get worse by wearing my glasses too much?
There is no evidence to support that any more than wearing shoes too much will worsen the feet. At young ages, it is important to wear the glasses as much as possible so newly forming nerves for vision can be properly developed. Later on, wearing glasses more often helps prevent eye strain and possible headaches from seeing blurry.
Does it make a difference where I get my glasses?
Your doctor’s prescription is just one factor in determining how well you see through your glasses. The quality of the lenses used and the fit of the frames can greatly influence your clarity of vision and comfort with your glasses. A skilled optician can help you select the best materials for your budget and ensure they are made properly.
Will I be able to see perfectly the day I pick up my new eyeglasses?
Depending on the amount of change in your new glasses, it may take your eyes a few days to adjust.
Why should I wear quality sunglasses?
Wearing sunglasses is like wearing sunscreen for your eyes. It’s not the darkness of the lenses that protects your eyes from the damaging effects of UV light; it’s the actual UV filter and sometimes the lens material that absorbs the UV. In fact, very dark sunglasses that do not have UV protection can actually damage your eyes!
Are polarized lenses the best option for reducing glare?
Polarized lenses are the best option for eliminating glare. Hunters, boaters, fisherman, golfers and drivers are just a few who can benefit from polarized lens’ glare blocking properties. Any surface can create glare in sunlight, especially water, snow, sand, windows, vehicles and buildings. Polarization eases eye strain in bright sunlight. Available in prescription, different colors, materials and designs.
What is an anti-reflective (AR) coating?
It is a special coating that reduces distracting reflections. The results are: more transmitted light, better quality of vision, improved night vision, and reduced eye fatigue. Great for working on a computer or for driving at night, these lenses also offer a cosmetically appealing “invisible lens look” that makes the lens “disappear” and shows your eye more clearly.
What will happen during an eye exam?
Your provider will check your vision and ocular health. You will be asked questions that relate to any problems you may have. Measurements will help determine any need for corrective wear such as contact lenses or glasses. Your ocular health will be checked for things such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration or other disorders. Eye drops may be used to enlarge (dilate) your pupils to facilitate viewing of the inside of your eyes. Medication may be prescribed for ocular problems or a referral may be suggested for conditions requiring further intervention, such as cataracts.
How long does a standard eye exam take?
A comprehensive eye examination may take from 30-45 minutes.
How do I know if I need an eye exam?
Most people should get their eyes tested every 1-2 years. If you have had a sudden loss of vision or change in vision in one or both of your eyes or if your eyes are red or painful you should be seen right away.
My vision is fine – why should I get an exam?
An eye exam will check your vision to see if you need glasses to help you see better, but will also look for any problems with the health of your eyes. Vision can change gradually over time so even when you feel like your vision is fine it may have changed enough that glasses will improve your vision. More importantly, an eye exam will check for any health problems in your eyes including cataracts, glaucoma or any circulation problem in the back of the eye (the retina). Often when these problems are found there are no symptoms. The sooner problems are found the better the long term outcome.
What steps can I take to prevent my vision from getting worse?
Most, if not all, of the reason we need a correction such as glasses is due to genetics. The biggest control we all have in preventing worse vision is sound health practices. Avoiding trauma to the eye from UV light by wearing sunglasses when appropriate. Good nutrition to prevent diabetes – which can have a significant effect on the eyes. Having routine eye examinations including a dilated eye evaluation. Eyes will change over time, the best we can do is stay on top of the changes.