Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

intense pulsed light

​​​​​​​There are estimates that more than five million Americans suffer from dry eye. At the Houston Dry Eye Clinic, we specialize in a variety of different treatments for our patients who suffer from this debilitating condition. We have found that while many patients respond to traditional treatments, such as eye drops and medications, others benefit from non-traditional treatment options. So what is the best treatment to improve your situation? In many cases that might be Intense Pulsed Light.

What is Intense Pulsed Light

Intense Pulse Light was originally utilized as a procedure for patients with skin conditions such as Rosacea. When practitioners applied the light to these patients many commented that their dry eyes improved. Realizing that this was happening, doctors began to do clinical research. The findings were impressive and life-changing. A sizeable percentage of patients with dry eye found that not only did their skin condition improve, but their dry eye symptoms also improved. And so many doctors began to utilize Intense Pulse Light for the treatment of the dry eye.

Intense pulsed light instrumentation has since been refined so that it specifically targets the eyes, and the skin surrounding them allowing for long-lasting results. The therapy works by shrinking the small vessels that feed inflammation to the eye. Research also demonstrated a clearing of blocked glands that produce the oil that keeps the liquid component of the tears from evaporating.

In addition to clearing out the glands, the intense pulsed light treatment also kills parasites, known as Demodex, that live on the skin and in the follicles of the eyelids. By decreasing the number of Demodex living on and in the skin, patients find a more substantial improvement in their symptoms and quality of life.

The Procedure

Since no one treatment is beneficial to every patient, our office will be happy to schedule your initial consultation to evaluate your specific needs. This review helps us understand any possible underlying causes or the issues that led to your current condition. Our doctor and staff will then complete a thorough examination so that we can better assess your specific needs.

Once the initial examination has been completed, we can develop a tailored treatment plan for you. If intense pulsed light is part of your treatment plan, you will be counseled on what to expect. The first step is to evaluate your skin type to ensure that the proper light is used. The therapy is then applied to specific areas of the face to shrink superficial blood vessels and open clogged pores. This allows for longer overall success and improved skin quality as well as an improvement in dry eye symptoms.

Following your treatment, you may be directed to use some different types of medication to ensure that you get the best possible results. Generally, patients need about four treatments to open the glands shrink the fine blood vessels. Once the initial treatment protocol is complete, patients return for periodic maintenance. This helps to ensure that the glands continue to work properly and that you don’t experience dry eye again. The specific number of treatments is determined by the degree of dry eye and inflammation present. Some patients begin to feel results immediately, others require several treatments before the benefits are realized.


Intense pulsed light offers a great option for the treatment of your dry eye. Although the procedure is generally painless, some patients do feel slight warmth and a tiny pinprick when certain areas of the face are treated. The probe is chilled to provide you the greatest comfort possible. If you suffer from dry eye, contact our offices today. The doctor and staff at the Houston Dry Eye Clinic in Houston, TX have the experience and knowledge to properly evaluate your dry eyes and make recommendations to improve your comfort and your vision. Call today to begin your journey to a better tomorrow (713) 664-4760.