Ask the Experts
IPL and advanced Dry Eye Treatment
Only a dry eye sufferer knows how painful or disabling the symptoms can be. Most patients in NHS dry eye clinics are treated with lubricant drops, and for many patients, these are just not enough.
At Paragon Clinic, we offer a fixed price dry eye consultation for £220 and you will be introduced to a wide array of dry eye treatment options including inflammation busting topical and systemic medications and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment. We will also work closely with your own local optician to help you with various non-medical therapies and we can make recommendations to them on your behalf and work collaboratively to treat what is a chronic condition.
What is Dry Eye syndrome ?
Dry eye is caused by a problem with your tears. It’s a very common condition, particularly in those over 40 and is more common in women than men. The condition causes symptoms such as gritty feeling eyes, irritation, burning, itching and even blurred vision.
I’ve been told I’ve got dry eyes, but they keep watering why ?
The excessive watering is caused by the dryness. The eye naturally produces more water to try and combat the dryness; however, this often leads to over tearing. This can be a problem for most people on very cold windy days, but those suffering from dry eye, experience it more often.
Even if you have tears you can still have dry eye syndrome why is that ?
Tears are a complex structure and keep the front of the eye healthy. Tears are made up of lipid (fat), water, and mucus. When you blink you leave a thin layer, called the tear film, on the front of your eye. The tear film keeps the front of your eye healthy; it also helps the eye focus properly, giving you clear vision.
If the tear film balance is incorrect the tears do not stick to the eye, they evaporate and dry out more quickly. If you don’t produce enough tears, if your tears aren’t of the right quality or your tears aren’t spread across the front of your eye properly then you may develop dry eye symptoms.
Conditions such as meibomian gland dysfunction (blockage of the oil secreting ducts in the eyelid) and blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids) can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
What causes meibomian gland dysfunction ?
Meibomian gland dysfunction is caused when the small glands on the top and bottom eyelids which secrete the oily part of the tears become blocked. This condition is often related to blepharitis, a condition which can cause scaly skin cells to gather around the root of the eyelashes, leading to inflammation, irritation, and infection.
What treatment is there for dry eyes ?
There are many treatment options to help manage dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction, and blepharitis.
Treatment that you can do yourself often involves:
- Cleaning the eyelids with unique products to clear away any lipids and debris which can block the meibomian glands and irritate the lids.
- Using heat and massage to help the glands secrete more lipid. Regular treatment can contribute to reducing the need for ocular lubricant drops.
- Using artificial tears throughout the day. Many lubricants are available, and the right one needs to be recommended for your specific problem
Can Paragon clinic offer me any different treatment for my dry eyes ?
Firstly, we will give you have a full assessment to determine the underlying problem for your dry eye symptoms so you can get the correct advice and treatment to hopefully alleviate your suffering. Apart from the above treatments you may be offered.
Nurse administered lid hygiene therapy
In addition to performing lid scrubbing yourself, our specialist ophthalmic nurse can provide additional episodes of deeper lid hygiene to express the abnormal contents from the eye lid glands. This improves the inflammation and the quality of the tear films and reduce the gritty sensation caused by the poor tear films. During these sessions, the nurse can evaluate your tear films and suggest the most appropriate type of artificial tears for you.
Punctal Plugs. For more severe dry eye cases a tiny silicone plug inserted into the tear drainage canal on your lower lids offers a more permanent solution to dry eyes, considerably reducing or eliminating the need for lubricating drops. If required, this can be done immediately after your consultation as it only takes a few minutes and is a painless procedure.
IPL treatment (Intense light pulse) is the latest technology
Approximately 80 % of dry eye problems are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. IPL treatment uses gentle pulses of light to the skin adjacent to the eyes. These pulses melt the thick secretions on the eyelids, release the build-up of oil, and unclog the meibomian glands. This specialized treatment stimulates the natural flow of oil into the tears, stabilizes the tear film and improves dry eye symptoms. It also reduces inflammation (blepharitis) and eliminates any bacterial infection around the lid area.
Treat the root cause: chronic inflammation
At Paragon Clinic, we use the latest Lumenis Optima IPL which is a drug free, drop free light-based treatment targeting the root causes of dry eye disease – chronic inflammation.
IPL treats periocular inflammatory conditions such as Rosacea and telangiectasia, which may lead to ocular surface conditions such as Dry Eye. 80% of rosacea patients suffer from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, most of whom respond well to IPL treatment.
Stop the vicious cycle of inflammation
Reduces inflammatory mediators
Decreases the level of pro inflammatory mediators, progressing the inflammation
Alleviates Abnormal Blood vessels
Destroys the abnormal blood vessels that are perpetuating the inflammation.
Decreases Demodex mites which are stimulating infection leading to inflammation.
Next-Generation IPL Technology at Paragon Clinic
Safe, gentle and effective, the Optima IPL is the next-generation IPL technology developed by Lumenis. Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT™) gives professional users the ability to control the pulse shape and provides reproducible results as well as gentle, and comfortable treatments (based on patients’ testimonials). This technology is specifically tailored for treatment of Dry Eye Disease due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.
IPL breaks the vicious cycle of inflammation and restores homeostasis in Dry Eye Disease.
- Destroys the abnormal blood vessels that are perpetuating the inflammation
- Decreases the level of pro-inflammatory mediators and inhibits the progression of the inflammation
- Reduces the tear film osmolarity back to normal levels
- Restores meibomian gland’s morphology and functionalit
- Decreases Demodex mites stimulating infection leading to MGD
First-of-its-kind, drug-free, drop-free, light-based treatment
Unlike conventional treatments that work within the eye, Optima IPL uses advanced technology to deliver a controlled amount of intense pulsed light around the eye. With every pulse of light, this first-of-its-kind, energy-based therapy works to control the inflammatory process and to stop the vicious cycle of dry eye due to MGD – displacing the need for medications and providing long-lasting results.