It’s been a little while since I’ve logged an entry here but frankly I’ve got a lot to say and three blog posts that I have in drafts so stay with me over the next few weeks to months as we finish of 2019 with a bang.
….Pulsed Light, as in IPL. I’m excited to discuss what is called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) today. I’ve been investigating whether to bring this type of therapy in the office for over a year now. I actually became quite interested over the past few years but was watching from the sidelines to see how it all panned out for eye care in general and where it might play a role in our office. Our patients are not new to me bringing in new and innovative technology, you probably see something new every time you come to the office, it is always in an effort to better take care of your eye health. As the tag line for the office has been and always will be, “dedicated to the health of your eyes,” the addition of this technology and previous technology is to stay “dedicated” for our patients. That being said, I consider myself a mid to early adopter of new technology and therapies. I like to stay up on the studies and see how things actually work and if it applies to our patients’ needs. I want to be clear, I do not flippantly bring in instrumentation and look for ways “to pay it off.” I’ve always thought of it quite differently, and if I bring in instrumentation it is to address a need for our patients and the cost of which will eventually take care of itself.
So, what is IPL? IPL has been used routinely by dermatology to treat the inflammation related to rosacea. Rosacea of the face results in rosy red cheeks, red nasal area and sometimes around the chin. It is an inflammatory condition that affects mostly lightly pigmented individuals and may be exacerbated by heat, angst, alcohol, to name a few (figures 1&2.). Courtesy of http://www.rosacea.org
A few years back eye doctors started to recognize that IPL was effective on patients with ocular rosacea. This is another inflammatory condition that specifically affects the eyelid and results in dry eye. Ocular rosacea is nothing new, it has been linked very closely to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and blepharitis for decades in eye care. This is where I step in and explain the role of IPL in our practice. Any patient that has seen me over the years has had at least one conversation with me regarding dry eye and MGD. If you are one of those patients, do you recall me discussing with you the importance of lid hygiene, warm compresses, have I shown you images of your lids? Have I also imaged your glands with our LipiView instrumentation, have I proposed a treatment like the LipiFlow thermal pulsation treatment? Those discussions were all as a result of your MGD condition and likely linked to ocular rosacea. I have been a leader on the dry eye front for a number of years now, I have been on various advisory boards for dry eye medications and devices. My practice was the first private optometry practice with the LipiFlow instrumentation (4th office overall in the city of Houston). As a result, we continue to complement our treatment of MGD and dry eye with the implementation of the IPL treatment. I can say that amongst optometrists with the LipiFlow and IPL technology that I have the most experience collectively with the two technologies having had them for the longest. With that it should bring a sense of security and confidence as a patient, I am not trying to “pay off my instrument,” we have had it long enough. Secondly, with the wealth of experience I am able to select the best candidates for the combined procedure to increase successfully outcomes. Thirdly, this is likely something you’ve already heard about from myself or another eye doctor but has not been addressed because the technology was not readily available.
As to be expected, with all things that are new there is a great deal of excitement. I can say that this is very true with the IPL treatment and I do not see that excitement changing in the near future. Everyday, I am validated by my decision to bring this instrumentation in our practice because of, 1. the patients I continue to see with MGD and why, again, I brought it in and 2. the journal summaries I receive via email that consistently point toward this as an innovative and effective treatment for patients with MGD.
Do you think you could benefit from LipiFlow and/or IPL and would like to be evaluated? Please do not hesitate to contact the office to arrange an appointment with me or just email me a photo of your face to DrGee@GeeEyeCare.com.