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Dry Eye
Ocular Surface Disease
Video

Illuminating Dry Eye Management: Exploring the Efficacy and Applications of Advanced Light Therapy

Posted on
Maria Sampalis, OD:

Hi, I am Dr. Maria Sampalis. I’m an optometrist in Cranston Rhode Island.

Question:

Given the multifactorial nature of dry eye disease, how does IPL OptiLight therapy address the underlying causes and inflammatory components compared to traditional treatments like artificial tears or anti-inflammatory medications?

Maria Sampalis, OD:

Yeah, as we know, OptiLight is FDA approved IPL technology. It helps improve the signs of eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction. And it’s been a great tool that I’ve used in my practice. It really helps address inflammation, restore meibomian gland structure and function, reduce abnormal blood vessels. And we’ve had a lot of clinical trials to prove this. So, that is one. I bring it up to patients, the clinical trials and the FDA approval is vital for that discussion. But in general, it really helps reduce inflammatory factors found in the tear film, and destroys telantagiec blood vessels that causes major inflammation. And we found a lot of new studies that Demodex is causing a lot of dry eye issues as well. So I think it’s more than just artificial tears to help our patients.

Question:

Can you talk about the benefit of in-office treatments as opposed to at home medication ones?

Maria Sampalis, OD:

Yeah. In-office treatment really begins with heating the glands, giving patients options to do maintenance care, but ultimately having heat and technology to really get to the level of the cells helps. And I think we found that. You need 110 degrees Fahrenheit to really heat up those glands, especially the obstruction of the glands and the glands that aren’t working properly. So a lot of those stuff that is in home treatment is more maintenance, but having a good slit lymph examination express the glands to really get in there and see the lid margins, to see the telantagiec vessels, to clean the lids. I clean the lids in the office with new lids. For Demodex, it had started before we start treatment and then Cliradex to really maintain it as well. So, we have some office treatment that helps to really get to the heart of the problem. But then whole medication is related different maintenance.

Question:

Could you elaborate on the specific wavelengths and parameters used in IPL OptiLight therapy for treating dry eye disease, and how these parameters are tailored to individual patient characteristics?

Maria Sampalis, OD:

So, the wavelength is determined by how deeply they penetrate the skin and the target tissue that it reaches. The high-intensity, yellow, orange, red infrared, near-infrared production is standard 598 for the OptiLight filter. Certain skin types are suited for IPL. One way to evaluate is through the Fitzpatrick skin type scale. The scale provides classification of the skin types based on response to UV light. So it characterizes patients on skin type and gives us a number between one to five, one to six. And corresponds to the coloration and how it’s going to react to sun. So those are some things that we classify patients for when we’re doing an OptiLight treatment.

Question:

In your experience, how does IPL OptiLight therapy impact the ocular surface microbiome? And what implications does this have for long-term management and recurrence prevention of dry eye disease?

Maria Sampalis, OD:

So it improves meibomian gland structure function, quality of the meibome, which is very important and tear breakup time. But it also reduces inflammation and Demodex in our patients. We find that a lot of patients do have Demodex blepharitis that causes dry eye. And for long-term treatment and help with reducing inflammatory factors in the eye, and reoccurrence of styes and other blepharitis and other issues, inflammation in the eye.

Question:

How does IPL OptiLight fit into a comprehensive dry eye management plan? Is it typically used as a standalone treatment or in combination with other therapies?

Maria Sampalis, OD:

So, it really depends on case-to-case basis. I think a lot of the protocols in a lot of offices is cleaning the lids, a heating mask, and then giving maybe a nutraceutical to a patient, trying those steps. For mid to advanced cases, we introduce the OptiLight. We never really have it as the first line of treatment for patients because we want to make sure that we can solve what’s underlying first. But if we see a lot of gland dysfunction, then we’ll recommend that for the patient as well. It’s been a great practice builder in the office.

Question:

Could you share any patient success stories or clinical outcomes you’ve observed with the use of IPL OptiLight in treating dry eye disease?

Maria Sampalis, OD:

Yeah, I’ve had some advanced cases and we’ve had patients tell us they changed their life. We have some patients that are so inflamed they couldn’t open their eyes. It comes and goes, inflammation. It really disrupted their quality of life. And the OptiLight has been a game changer in my practice, really has elevated me as a clinician and been able to help patients stop having recurrent styes, reduce Demodex, inflammation, but also increased tear break-up time, and they notice it within treatment two or three.

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