New intense pulsed light therapy for chronic dry eye

Published On: Aug 27 2013 04:15:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 13 2013 11:42:42 AM EDT

By Mayo Clinic News Network

The standard treatment for chronic dry eye includes medications, daily eye drops and ointments to nourish the surface of the eye. In some cases, patients have been prescribed omega-3 fatty acid supplements and topical steroids. Left untreated, chronic dry eye can lead to impaired vision or scarring of the eye.

But Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL) is being used at Mayo Clinic in Arizona to treat this condition that affects millions of people in the U.S., particularly in the desert Southwest. The IPL treatment targets patients who have evaporative dry eye, a subset of chronic dry eye.  The condition results from ocular rosacea, inflammation of the eyelid skin, which causes the meibomian glands in the eyelids to fail to produce enough natural oil to slow the evaporation of tears. When that happens, patients experience a burning or gritty sensation, blurry vision and redness of the eyes.



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