IPL for dry eyes

Dry eyes occur due to a reduction in the natural oils that lubricate the eye. This can be caused by inadequate oil production, blocked glands (the glands or reduce blinking from overuse of screens and computers. They symptoms of dry eyes include red, dry and sore eyes, and it is a very common issue especially as we age- about 30% of adults suffer from this problem.

Why do we get dry eyes?

The oil which lubricates the eye is produced by Meibomian glands. Normally the oil is clear and looks like olive oil and it coats the tears which protects our eyes, helping to lubricate the eye for longer periods. However with the advent of age or medical conditions such as rosacea, the oil becomes thick and the glands get blocked. Less oil is secreted which means that tears evaporate more quickly, especially in windy or air-conditioned environments. Using screens and computers compound the problem because we often blink less when we concentrate on a screens, meaning less oil is released.

Standard treatments for dry eyes have included hot compresses, artificial tears and occasionally Antibiotics can often help, especially if the underlying cause is an inflammatory condition caused rosacea. Supplements such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids and antibacterial ointments can also help. However, none of these treatment manage the most common underlying cause, which is Meibomian gland obstruction

How does IPL work for dry eyes?

One of the newest treatments options for dry eyes is IPL therapy which heats the glands and allows expression of blocked oil from the Meibomian glands. This is a really exciting development and can eliminate the need for ongoing drops and discomfort.

Evidence is mounting for the role of IPL in managing dry eyes and ocular rosacea. Before proceeding with your treatment, you must seek the approval of an ophthalmologist or optometrist to ensure the procedure is safe for you. Dr Grant can provide you with a referral if you are unsure who to see.

What To Expect

Your treatment will involve a standard IPL treatment for rosacea over the upper face and then manual extraction on the Meibomian glands. The IPL treatment is relatively comfortable and may feel like an elastic band flicking the skin. Topical anaesthetic will then be dropped into the eye before gland extraction and may sting a little.




Initial Consultations with Dr Grant are as per standard AMA rates and attract a medicare rebate.

  • >15 minutes: minutes $81

  • >20 minutes: $148

There is currently no medicare rebate for IPL for dry eye unless you meet the medicare rebate for rosacea, which is redness seen at 3 metres.

If you pre-purchase a treatment package of 4 sessions the cost is $800, saving $200. You can also pay per session at a cost of $250 per visit, or use Zip Pay.


Procedure time
Initial appointment 30 mins. Repeat appointments are 15 mins.

Recommended plan Monthly for 4 sessions with a review every year.

Most clients notice a response after 1-2 treatments.

Downtime / aftercare
There is no significant downtime.

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Meibomian Gland