100% Optical

Low level light therapy for dry eye

At 100% Optical, Topcon displayed the Eye-light device which combines two forms of therapy for treating dry eye

Topcon shone a light on the issue of dry eye at 100% Optical (25–27 February) as it displayed the Eye-light device.

Ahead of the trade show, Topcon Healthcare Great Britain & Ireland announced a long-term exclusive partnership with Espansione Group, becoming sole distributor of Eye-light in the UK and Ireland markets.

The Eye-light combines two forms of therapy for treating dry eye: Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) and Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT).

Fergal Byron, senior technical product manager for Topcon, explained: “In the past there has only been one form of treatment, and that is IPL on its own. A thermal reaction used on the skin just below the eye to help soften the meibomian glands to help them express a little better. With this device you have the added function of using low level light technology.”

The mask utilises a series of red LEDs positioned over the eyelid. Users of the device can input the severity of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), taken from meibography, and select the light modulation. The patient is reclined in a relaxed position and wears the mask for 15 minutes.

“There will be an intensity of heat felt by the patient, but it won’t be delivered from the mask, it will be delivered from an internal heat reaction from the patient’s cells to the wavelength of light we’re putting on the skin,” Byron explained. “Almost like you’re lying on a beach on a nice sunny day – that feeling of the warm sun on your face.”

The advantage of using the mask is that both upper and lower lids are treated simultaneously.

“When you’re doing IPL on its own, you’re really only treating the lower lids, which is only half of the problem when you’re talking about MGD and dry eye,” he said.

The recommended treatment pathway is four treatments around one week apart to treat the symptoms of MGD, followed by one treatment per year depending on the severity of the condition.

An optometrist should be trained to use the device when using the IPL in conjunction with LLLT, Byron explained, sharing that, in conjunction with the manufacturer, Topcon offers a suite of training to support optometrists to become proficient with the device. However, practice team members can be trained with the device if using the mask on its own, as long as a qualified optometrist is in the practice.

Where practices might be used to prescribing drops for patients, Byron suggested: “I think optometrists would be really excited about being able to treat the root cause of the problem.”

The technology can also be used to treat other conditions with different masks that treat bacterial conditions, such as demodex, or symptoms of swelling, such as post-blepharoplasty treatment.