Issue: November 2016
May 31, 2016
1 min read

Light therapy effective long-term for dry eye

Issue: November 2016
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MILAN — Long-term experience with light technologies shows that they are effective in treating meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye disease.

“Light is used as a therapy in many branches of medicine, but ophthalmologists are slow to adopt it in spite of numerous studies,” Rolando Toyos, MD, said at the OSN Italy meeting.

Rolando Toyos

Toyos has been using intense pulsed light (IPL) since 2001 and low-level red light for 6 years with successful results and is now training ophthalmologists in several clinics in the U.S. to use his procedures.

IPL treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction is now performed using the Lumenis M22 Optimal Pulse Technology, which delivers consistent energy levels to open the glands, thin the secretions and help express the secretions after the treatment.

“IPL kills bacteria and Demodex, facilitates gland expression, closes abnormal telangiectasias and decreases inflammatory mediators on the skin, but the No. 1 cause of improvement is photomodulation. The stimulation of mitochondrial cells improves cell morphology and therefore gland function,” Toyos said.

A 3-year retrospective study showed a 200% increase in tear breakup time and a 93% satisfaction rate in patients treated with IPL.

In the past 6 years, Toyos has also been using low-level red light therapy for mild forms of dry eye or as an adjunctive therapy to IPL. The treatment is safe to be performed at home by the patients for 3 minutes at least twice a week.

In a study after 3 months of this therapy, mean tear breakup time increased from 3.62 seconds to 5.87 seconds, a 61% increase. – by Michela Cimberle


Toyos R. Intense pulsed light and the Q for dry eye disease treatment. Presented at: OSN Italy; May 20-21, 2016; Milan.

Disclosure: Toyos reports he is a consultant for Lumenis, Magellan and Quantum Ocular Biosciences.