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What Is OptiLight Treatment & How Can It Manage Your Dry Eye?

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No one enjoys having dry, irritated eyes. Unfortunately, dry eye syndrome is a common condition that results from a lack of tears or poor tear quality. But the plus side is that there are some great treatment options available. One effective treatment is OptiLight. OptiLight is a form of intense pulsed light therapy, and it helps reduce inflammation, improve tear break-up time, and increase meibomian gland functionality.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for treating dry eye, so discussing the treatment options with your optometrist is crucial. They can consider your particular case of dry eyes when recommending an effective treatment option.

What Is a Dry Eye?

Dry eye syndrome, commonly known as dry eye, is a chronic and progressive condition resulting from inadequate tear production or poor tear quality, which fails to lubricate the eye’s surface adequately.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eyes do not just lead to discomfort—they can also significantly affect vision. People with dry eye may experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye redness and inflammation
  • Stringy mucus around the eyes

These symptoms can affect daily activities such as reading, driving, and using digital devices, making it essential to manage the condition effectively.

Causes & Risk Factors

The onset of dry eye can be linked to various factors, including:

  • Aging: The aging process can lead to declining tear quality and production.
  • Medical conditions: Conditions like diabetes or autoimmune disease can trigger dry eye as part of the body’s natural response.
  • Medications: Some drugs, especially those with antihistamines or birth control pills, can affect tear production.
  • Environmental factors: Excessive screen time, air conditioning, and dry climates can all exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

Recognizing these risk factors is a great first step to tailoring interventions.

What Is OptiLight by Lumenis?

OptiLight by Lumenis is a light-based, noninvasive treatment done in the area below the eyes to manage dry eye. The first and only IPL 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 light pulses 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 During OptiLight Treatment

Trying a new treatment can bring up many questions. So, let’s break down the general process you can expect at Virginia Eyecare Clinic.

OptiLight usually consists of 4 sessions lasting 10 to 15 minutes. These treatments are spaced 2–4 weeks apart. And because it’s a noninvasive treatment, you can typically return to your regular day activities immediately after each session.

Your eye doctor will place shields over your eyes to protect them. Then, light pulses are directed towards the skin beneath your eyes. You may feel warmth or heat, but most patients only experience minimal sensation.

The optometrist removes the eye shields and coupling gel once the treatment is complete. Other treatments, like meibomian gland expression or LipiFlow, often make a great addition to the OptiLight treatment.

Will OptiLight Work for Me?  

While OptiLight 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 optometrist can help you determine whether this option is right for you. During your next appointment, ask us if you are a good candidate for OptiLight.

Other Dry Eye Treatment Options

A woman applying eye drops on her left eye to treat eye dryness.

While OptiLight can be an effective, science-backed treatment, it may not suit everyone. Fortunately, several potential treatment options are available that you can discuss with your eye doctor.

Treatment for dry eye syndrome is often multifaceted, aiming to alleviate symptoms and prevent the condition’s worsening. Some common approaches include:

  • Eye drops: Over-the-counter or prescribed artificial tears can replace the lack of natural moisture on the eye’s surface.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Practices like blinking more frequently, taking breaks from screen time, and using a humidifier can help manage dry eye symptoms.
  • Medications: Some severe cases of dry eye may require prescription eye drops or ointments that reduce inflammation or increase tear production.
  • Procedures: In instances where other treatments do not prove effective, procedures such as punctal plugs (tiny silicone or gel inserts in the tear ducts) can be considered to help keep the tears from draining away too quickly.

Find Relief for Your Dry Eyes

There’s no need to continue suffering the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye. OptiLight by Lumenis could be the solution you’ve been looking for. And even if it’s not right for you, there are several other treatment options to discuss with your eye doctor.Call our team at Virginia Eyecare Clinic today. We’re happy to get you in to see one of our eye doctors and help make your eyes feel comfortable again.

Written by Dr. Amanda Umlandt

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