IPL Dry Eye Treatment FAQ

IPL Dry Eye Treatment FAQ

What Is IPL?

IPL is a specifically calibrated series of intense pulsed light (IPL) which are precisely set at a specific energy and frequency. IPL is specifically designed for treating dry eye due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Treatment with IPL stimulates the Meibomian glands and helps them to recover their function.

At In2Eyes Optometry, we utilise the E-Eye IPL technology for dry eye treatment. The E-Eye has a Medical CE certification in Europe and is also a registered medical device listed under the TGA in Australia and WAND in New Zealand.

What Happens During IPL Treatment?

Before being treated with IPL, your optometrist will perform a comprehensive dry eye assessment. This will ensure that we understand the causes behind your symptoms and to create a dry eye treatment action plan, tailored to your condition. Your optometrist will advise if IPL is right for you.

During treatment,

  • Patients are required to remove all make up from the skin.
  • Patients are fit with protective goggles.
  • Conductive gel is then placed beneath the eyelid area to ensure even spreading of pulsed light during treatment. –
  • 5 – 6 IPL flashes are then applied safely beneath the eyelid area to stimulate the normal functioning of the meibomian glands.

For best results, treatment should be applied on day 1, day 15, and day 45, and then subsequently as needed. Treatment may also be administered in conjunction with meibomian gland expression or other recommendations from your optometrist, including treatments you can do at home to ensure optimal results.

This session normally only takes around 10 minutes.

How Fast Does It Work?

Treatment is non invasive and patients typically experience relief within a few minutes though optimal improvement to the normal functioning of the meibomian glands is typically seen after the third treatment on day 45 (or subsequent treatments if required).

Your optometrist will also advise you on how to maintain the health of your meibomian glands through supplements, behaviour changes, dietary recommendations and at home treatments.


General contraindications apply regarding ILP devices. The following are not able to be treated with IPL:

  • Certain medicines that increase photo-sensitivity (which will be advised before treatment). A skin test will be required as a precautionary measure only and you will be required to return for evaluation within 2 days.
  • Pregnant patients
  • Skin photo type VI (very dark or black skin)
  • Xeroderma
  • Keloid scarring under the eyelids
  • Lupus disease
  • Doxycycline
  • Spray tanning on the face
  • Try to avoid exposure to sunlight/UV/tanning before treatment.
  • IPL cannot be administered near moles, birthmarks or tattoos.

Clinical Trials

  1. Clinical Trial 2012 – France A study on 150 patients with MGD in 2012 by Dr Christian Malbrel, Ophthalmologist in Reims, France, using the E-Eye device showed 90% satisfaction rate after a series of 3 treatments on day 1, 15 and 45.  Clinical study available on request
  2. Clinical Trial 2014 – New Zealand A double blinded, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of 28 patients with MGD in 2014 by Associate Professor Jennifer P. Craig from the Ocular Surface Laboratory within The University of Auckland’s Department of Ophthalmology, using the E-Eye device for 3 treatments. 82% of treated patients showed improvement of at least one lipid layer grade on day 1, and 86% of participants noted reduced symptoms by day 45. There was also significant improvement in non-invasive tear breakup time (NIBUT) vs controls.

Source: Craig, Jennifer P., Yen-Heng Chen, and Philip RK Turnbull. “Prospective trial of intense pulsed light for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction.”Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 56, no. 3 (2015): 1965-1970, available at http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2277038