Icon Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL)

At Pupila Family Eye & Ear Care, we work hard to help you see clearly for as long as possible. That’s why we offer cutting-edge treatments to help treat your dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction to reveal your best self. Cynosure's Icon™ IPL is just one of the many treatments we offer.

Cynosure’s Icon™ IPL for Dry Eye & Styes

Icon IPL is a highly effective treatment for dry eye and styes.

The Icon IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy is an effective treatment for the inflammatory component of meibomian gland dysfunction. IPL uses a spectrum of light to reduce the inflammatory blood vessels which cause irritation and destruction of the meibomian glands. This treatment is non-invasive and patients can expect very minimal social downtime. IPL has also proven to be an effective treatment for recurring styes.

How Does Icon IPL Treatment Work?

The primary cause of dry eye syndrome is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which occurs when the oil-producing meibomian glands are clogged up and unable to produce a healthy tear film. The oil is crucial as it stops your tear film from evaporating too rapidly.

During the IPL procedure, the heat emanating from the light helps liquefy and release oils that have hardened and clogged the meibomian glands in the eyelids, thus reducing blockages that cause dry eye symptoms and improving the quality of your tears.

Icon™ IPL for Skin Rejuvenation

Icon™ is a non-invasive and effective technology that reduces the appearance of sun damage, age spots, broken blood vessels, rosacea and spider veins. The handheld wand administers pulses of intense light (IPL) to heat skin cells and break them down in order to give you radiant, youthful-looking skin. It helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, blemishes, and dark spots so you can maintain a youthful look.

Treatment Process

How Do I Prepare for Icon IPL Treatment?

  • Avoid retinoids that cause skin sensitivity, such as products containing Retin-A, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, or Vitamin C for one week preceding your IPL treatment.

  • Please inform of us any antibiotics or medication you’re taking, as they may cause your skin to be sensitive to light.

  • Do not wear makeup, lotions or moisturizer to your appointment.

  • Avoid waxing the area to be treated for a week prior to your appointment.

What Should I Expect During Icon IPL Treatment?

  • We start your IPL treatment by placing shields over your eyes to protect them from the light pulses.

  • Following that, a thin layer of cooling gel is applied to the treatment area and a small device administers the pulses of light to the region around the eyelids, which dislodges oil buildup.

After Icon IPL Treatment

Following the treatment, patients may describe skin tenderness and a burning sensation. This can be alleviated with ‘cooling gel’ which will be provided as well as a cool compress. Sun protection is very important post-treatment. You may return to normal activities immediately afterward; with some proper care and maintenance.

Make sure to wear at least SPF 30 sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage, and keep the treated skin well moisturized at all times.

How Many Treatments Do I Need?

Though patients usually notice an improvement in dry eye symptoms following their first or second treatment, it is generally recommended they undergo biweekly IPL treatments over a period of 4 months. This ensures long-term success in treating both chronic dry eye syndrome and meibomian gland dysfunction.

A series of treatments is always recommended as there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for dry eye disease. The optimum number of treatments can vary which is why we discuss your goals and create a custom treatment plan for you. We will often suggest combining both radiofrequency and IPL treatments to achieve an even better result.

When Do You Start to Feel a Difference?

Many of our patients report symptom relief after one to two treatments. However, symptom severity and patient susceptibility may vary. Pioneering studies of this technology indicate a series of treatments, spaced two weeks to one month apart, is better for improved and prolonged results.

How Is Icon IPL Different From Other Dry Eye Treatments?

Standard dry eye treatments, such as eye drops, artificial tears, hot compresses, and eyelid scrubs, aim to temporarily relieve symptoms instead of treating the root cause of the condition. IPL is unique in that it targets the source – the blood vessels surrounding the glands — enabling them to secrete oils naturally and resume their moisturizing function. This not only relieves symptoms but also slows the progression of chronic dry eye.

If you have tried various treatments and still struggle with unpleasant dry eye symptoms, we can help. Contact Pupila Family Eye & Ear Care today and see what Icon™ IPL can do for your eyes and skin!

​​​​​​​Our practice serves patients from Houston, Bunkerhill Village, Bellaire, and Sugarland, Texas and surrounding communities.