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Advanced Dry Eye Treatments

Safe & simple dry eye treatments. Long-term relief.

What causes dry eye syndrome?

Dry eyes may result from insufficient tear production, poor tear quality, or both. Symptoms range from a mild dry, gritty feeling to more severe damage of the eye surface with redness, pain, and blurred vision. Typical solutions to dry eye symptoms may simply include artificial tear eye drops or warm compresses, but sometimes that’s not enough.

What if eye drops alone don’t relieve dry eye symptoms?

Artificial tears are the mainstay of dry eye treatment, but don’t address the underlying cause of dry eye. They also don’t always do enough to treat the problem. This is why we also offer more advanced dry eye treatments, depending on the severity of your disease. Our team, including Dr Eliza Seros, our experienced dry eye specialist, will conduct a full dry eye evaluation including imaging and tear film testing. This detailed evaluation will clarify your diagnosis and provide a customized, long-term solution.

Which advanced dry eye treatments work best?

We offer many advanced dry eye treatments at Clear Vision Center. These include: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), iLux MGD, ProKera & amniotic membrane biological lens, prescription drops (Restasis, Cequa, Xiidra) serum tears, and punctal plugs. As dry eye syndrome may vary between patients, it is impossible to say which treatment works best. We will assess your dry eye and make a recommendation for what treatment we think will work best.

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How much do advanced dry eye treatments such as IPL cost?

Advanced dry eye treatments begin with an in-depth testing process where we take pictures and perform an advanced tear analysis. These tests are billed to insurance, but are typically not covered. The out of pocket fee for advanced dry eye analysis is $50. For advanced dry eye treatments, most prescription medications and amniotic membrane treatments (Prokera, Amniograft) are covered by insurance. Heat and light-based treatments such as IPL and iLux are not covered by insurance. The costs for IPL & iLux procedures typically range between $450-$750 per session. Our dry eye experts will perform a detailed exam, review your testing, and make a custom recommendation.

Do advanced dry eye treatments such as IPL last?

Advanced IPL and iLux treatments are designed to treat the underlying causes of evaporative dry eye. This works by improving tear film quality in two ways. First, we improve oil gland health to support healthy oils in the tear film. Second, IPL reduces inflammation that contributes to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and dry eye syndrome. To achieve improved symptoms, most people will undergo 4 sessions of IPL (once per month). Some people will continue to have maintenance sessions 1-3 times per year. Studies and our personal experience with these treatments show 80% success in reducing dry eye symptoms by 75-80%. Not everyone responds, however, which may necessitate other strategies for dry eye relief.

Is the Optilight IPL treatment the best dry eye treatment?

The Optilight IPL dry eye treatment system is based on the Lumenis M22 IPL platform, which is an FDA-approved platform for treatment of MGD and dry eye syndrome. While there is some confusing marketing by the manufacturer, both of these IPL systems are FDA approved, as they are based on the same device. While the Optilight system offers a smaller treatment probe, it is our belief that the M22 system remains the leading “workhorse” IPL system with time-proven benefits for treating advanced dry eye and blepharitis. Either system should provide equal benefits to the dry eye patient.

What are the side effects of IPL treatments?

IPL treatments use bright, filtered light that is applied to the skin in very short bursts. While we filter out harmful UV rays, the intensity of the light may still cause mild, temporary skin redness. IPL light energy can harm the eyes, so we place protective eye shields prior to the procedure. People with very dark skin may not be candidates, as IPL may cause skin depigmentation. IPL may cause focal areas of hair loss, including loss of eye lashes. Those who are taking light-sensitive medications such as doxycycline may need to stop taking them 2 weeks prior to IPL.

Do IPL and iLux treatments hurt?

IPL uses very bright, intense light that gets very hot for a split second. There is a cooling mechanism that immediately cools the skin after the light burst, which helps minimize discomfort. People commonly note mild discomfort for a split second during the “flash”, but this subsides quickly. The iLux procedure uses a soft, pillow-like compression device to warm up the meibomian oil glands and release their contents. By getting rid of the “bad” oils trapped in the oil glands, they may produce fresh oils which improve tear quality and reduce inflammation. The iLux procedure is not painful, as we use eye drops to numb the eye. After either procedure, some people experience increased irritation for a few hours to days.

Is there down time after IPL?

Since IPL is not a laser, it is more gentle on the skin compared to laser skin resurfacing procedures. As a result, there is typically no downtime after IPL treatments. Your skin may be slightly red afterward, as if you had been in the sunshine for a few hours. We ask people to avoid extended exposure to sunlight for 1 week, as you are more sensitive to develop a sunburn immediately after IPL.

How do I schedule a dry eye consultation?

Contact us today to schedule a dry eye consultation and be sure to check out some videos below on some of the dry eye treatment options we offer at the Clear Vision Cataract & LASIK Center in Rochester Hills. Our dedicated team of dry eye specialists is here for you!

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Benefits of Advanced Dry Eye Treatment Options

  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy to reduce eyelid inflammation and improve dry eye symptoms
  • iLux MGD treatments to safely and maximally heat and express dysfunctional meibomian glands
  • Amniotic membrane (ProKera) biological bandage lens to support eye surface healing
  • Serum Tears, which possess natural healing and nurturing properties not available from artificial tears
  • Punctal Plugs to maintain your natural tears on the eyes longer
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory drops (Restasis, Xiidra)