Lighting Up Dry Eye, Off-Label
It's an annoying eye condition that impacts more than a quarter of the population. Dry eye forces nearly 23-million people to use drops several times a day — but could light therapy typically used to smooth the skin also stop the burning eye condition? As Robyn Haines reports, patients are going off-label to find relief. Ophthalmologist Joseph Eviatar is using “Intense Pulsed Light Therapy” or IPL to treat dry eye. It’s a five-minute procedure where the light acts as a warm compress that unplugs glands, allowing tears to flow. It also reduces the inflammation. In one study of 100 patients who didn't respond to drops or other treatments, all reported some relief from light therapy, and it lasted for four to six months. Doctors say patients typically need four treatments over the course of a year. Each one costs about 250-dollars. Doctors say the new therapy works best on people with light skin. After the first four treatments, patients typically need to come in for one session a year for maintenance.