In most practices, doctors use therapies like medications and punctal plugs all the time, after first-line therapies such as warm compresses and artificial tears have failed. But why not skip the medications and treat patients with OptiLight first, so patients have less work to do at home? Light-based treatment has been proven effective, and the TFOS DEWS II report recommends it as a second-line treatment.1 That means that at the point in therapy when we’re considering prescribing eye drops and doing punctal plugs, it’s also time to consider OptiLight.
My colleagues and I purchased OptiLight because we wanted to elevate the quality of dry eye care in our practice. The unique advantage of OptiLight is its ability to treat inflammation, a key contributing factor of dry eye disease. Among the second-line options, OptiLight is often my first choice because it reduces patients’ burden of self-treatment—a benefit that may make it the standard of care in the near future. We are also starting to present OptiLight to our patients as a first-line treatment to get ahead of inflammation and disease progression, with the goal of making dry eye easier to manage as patients age.
Our practice benefits from OptiLight just as much as our patients do. In the year since we began treating with OptiLight, it has differentiated our practice in the community, resulting in dry eye patients coming from hours away and ophthalmologists referring patients to us for treatment. We treat about 5-10 patients a week with OptiLight, and that number is growing quickly. Since we brought it into our practice, our gross revenue has increased by more than 10%.

In-Office Treatment Makes Life Easier for Patients
We know that patients aren’t always compliant with at-home therapies, and we can hardly blame them. They’re told that for the rest of their lives, they need to use multiple eye drops, warm compresses, ointments, gels, and more. When I treat with OptiLight, many of my patients can avoid doing any work at home. For some individuals, I continue to recommend omega supplements or, for patients with incomplete eyelid closure, gel tears before bed.
A recent example: I had a patient with ocular rosacea, MGD, and allergies whose condition was very hard to stabilize. On the instruction of previous doctors, she was using prescription eye drops, allergy eye drops, lid scrubs, omega supplements, steroid ointment, lubricating eye drops, warm compresses, hypochloric acid eyelid wash, and an at-home low-light therapy device. Nevertheless, her eyes were constantly irritated, her lids were swollen, and she couldn’t wear makeup.
Because her dry eye disease was so severe, we did five OptiLight treatments instead of the standard four. She was thrilled with the results. Now her at-home tasks have decreased by 80%, with just a warm compress, omega supplements, and lubricating and allergy drops when needed.

Quality Dry Eye Care Makes Practices Stronger
As a second-line treatment, OptiLight is recommended for moderate to severe dry eye disease and mild disease that doesn’t respond to first-line therapies. That’s a lot of patients! In addition, for patients who have tried many therapies without gaining adequate improvement, treatment with OptiLight can make a difference. For example, in my experience, patients with a facial and ocular rosacea component look better and feel better after OptiLight, and patients with obstructive lid disease or inflammation experience significant results. Happy patients tell their friends, so we get a lot of referrals.
A set of OptiLight treatments are required for lasting results, so patients schedule the initial four visits 2-4 weeks apart, and then they come back for annual maintenance treatment if needed. Visits only require the time we schedule for a standard exam, so they fit easily into our patient flow. The technology has raised the quality of dry eye care for our patients and reduced their burden, all while strengthening the practice and elevating our reputation in the community.

1. Craig JP, Nelson JD, Azar DT, et al. TFOS DEWS II Report. Ocul Surf. 2017;269-275.

Indication for Use:
Improvement of signs of Dry Eye Disease (DED) due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), also known as evaporative dry eye or lipid deficiency dry eye, in patients 22 years of age and older with moderate to severe signs and symptoms of DED due to MGD and with Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV. IPL is to be applied only to skin on the malar region of the face, from tragus to tragus including the nose (eyes should be fully covered by protective eyewear). IPL is intended to be applied as an adjunct to other modalities, such as meibomian gland expression, artificial tear lubricants and warm compresses

Treatment with OptiLight is contraindicated for patients with the following conditions in the treatment area:
Ocular surgery or eyelid surgery or Neuro-paralysis within 6 months prior to the first treatment; Uncontrolled eye disorders affecting the ocular surface; Pre-cancerous lesions, skin cancer or pigmented lesions in the planned treatment area; Uncontrolled infections or uncontrolled immunosuppressive diseases; Recent Ocular infections; Prior history of cold sores or rashes in the perioral area, including: Herpes simplex 1 & 2, Systemic Lupus erythematosus and porphyria; Use of photosensitive medication and/or herbs that may cause sensitivity within 3 months prior to the first IPL session; Recent radiation therapy to the head or neck or planned radiation therapy; Recent treatment with chemotherapeutic agent or planned chemotherapy; History of migraines, seizures or epilepsy.
Patients eyes must be completely occluded during the treatment. Please refer to the operator manual for a complete list of intended use, contraindications and risks.
Please consult your physician as to whether this procedure is suitable for you.

The following possible side effects can occur following IPL treatments:
Pain/discomfort, damage to natural skin texture, change of pigmentation, scarring, excessive edema, fragile skin, bruising, burns, pruritus and xerosis. Please refer to the user manual or ask your doctor for a complete list of intended use, contraindications and risks

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