Dry eye disease is a widespread and common issue for up to 49 million Americans. This chronic condition can have a significant impact on your quality of life, causing a foreign body sensation in your eyes, pain, blurry vision, and dry or watery eyes. Untreated, it can even lead to further eye health complications.
Despite these constant detrimental effects on quality of life, many dry eye sufferers are not aware that they’re suffering from dry eye disease or that real treatments exist. Instead, they just live with the discomfort.
Here at Eyecare Associate of Lee’s Summit, we’re dedicated to helping patients find modern and effective solutions for dry eyes. Our practice has numerous ways to test for dry eyes and diagnose them early. We’re also proud to offer OptiLight by Lumenis to our patients, which is specially designed for dry eye management.
What Is OptiLight by Lumenis?
OptiLight by Lumenis is a light-based, non-invasive treatment done in the area below the eyes to manage dry eye. It is the first and only IPL that is FDA-approved for dry eye management.
The treatment is safe, gentle, and backed by more than 20 clinical studies.
How Does It Work?
OptiLight uses precise pulses of light to reduce the inflammation typically associated with dry eye disease, improve tear break-up time, and increase meibomian gland functionality.
This application can significantly relieve dry eye indicators and has a multi-factorial effect, including:
- Increasing tear break-up time
- Reducing the amount of demodex mites and bacteria living around your eyes
- Eliminating blood vessels that contribute to inflammation
- Improving meibomian gland functionality
What to Expect
Before Your Treatment
Before arriving for your OptiLight appointment, you’ll be asked to review a brief consent form and questionnaire that we’ll email you ahead of time. You’ll fill these forms out in our office on the day of your first treatment.
When you come in for your first treatment, we kindly ask that you arrive with clean skin and no makeup. You should also avoid tanning and significant amounts of direct sunlight for 2 weeks immediately prior to your appointment.
Finally, please avoid taking the following medications during the 2 weeks leading up to your appointment:
- Tetracyclines (which are present in many antibiotics)
- Topical retinoids (which are present in many acne creams, as well as lotions, gels, and foams)
During Your Treatment
This treatment is fast and simple. During the treatment your doctor will apply a coupling gel on the treatment area and cover your eyes with shields.
As light is applied to the skin, you may experience a warm sensation. The treatment is gentle with minimum discomfort. The treatment itself will only take 10–15 minutes.
When your OptiLight treatment is over, we’ll clean off the gel and apply some sunscreen to the treated area. We may also perform meibomian gland expression in certain cases.
After Your Treatment
For the 2 weeks directly following your OptiLight treatment, you’ll need to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. You may also find that your skin flushes and is more sensitive than usual for the first few days.
To reduce redness during this period, you may use a cool compress on your eyes and cheeks for 15-minute increments a few times each day. Avoid using lid scrubs or harsh cleaners. However, you will be able to return to your normal skin cleaning routine immediately after the treatment, and can resume wearing makeup as well.
Part of Your Custom Treatment Plan
A course of treatment typically includes 4 sessions spaced 2–4 weeks apart, although your doctor may recommend a different schedule based on your needs.
In addition to OptiLight, our practice also offers the following dry eye therapies:
- Meibomian gland expression, which can stimulate the glands that produce oil for your tear film if they are not working properly
- Prescription medications designed to increase tear production
- Nutritional supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce dry eye symptoms
- Other lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of dry eyes and mitigate their symptoms
Will the OptiLight by Lumenis Work for Me?
While OptiLight by Lumenis is an effective dry eye management solution, we want to make sure it’s right for you. We do not recommend this treatment if you:
- Suffer from aqueous deficiency dry eye (rather than evaporative dry eye or meibomian gland dysfunction)
- Have a history of keloid scarring
- Have severe scarring around your eyes
Ultimately, your doctor is the only person who can determine whether this option is right for you. During your next appointment, ask us if you are a good candidate for OptiLight by Lumenis.
You Don’t Have to Live With Dry Eye Anymore
Dry, irritated eyes can be managed with a new treatment that brings comfort and can restore quality of life. Visit our dry eye specialist Dr. Alyssa Sherwood to get an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Call or Text us 816-524-8900 or schedule your eye exam online today.
Posted Sept 2021 by Laura Nennig, OD; she specializes in contact lens fittings, with advanced training with scleral lenses including those used for dry eye treatment and has a passion for ocular wellness . She works closely with our resident dry eye specialist, Alyssa Sherwood, OD.