Salt Lake City Eye Doctors Discuss Revolutionary Intense Pulsed Light Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome

A popular cosmetic and dermatology therapy called Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL Therapy, is now being offered by The Eye Institute of Utah to treat chronic dry eye disease.

Salt Lake City, UT – According to a recent study by Ophthalmology1, high-altitudes and excess air pollution can increase the risk of developing dry eye disease – a combination that puts Utahans at a higher risk for developing dry eye. A recent report called “State of the Air 2015,”2 ranked Salt Lake City as the 7th worst polluted city in the nation by short-term particle pollution. Air pollution combined with an average elevation of over 4,400 feet are key factors that contribute to Utah’s high population of patients with dry eye disease.

Dry eye disease is a condition where the eyes have issues producing or retaining tears and keeping the eyes moisturized and healthy. Common symptoms of the condition include redness, burning, stinging, excess tearing, light sensitivity, and vision fluctuations. For those suffering from dry eye, there is hope – The Eye Institute of Utah is home to one of the most advanced dry eye treatment programs in the western U.S. and is the first eye care practice in Utah to offer Intense Pulsed Light therapy to treat dry eye.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy is a non-surgical, in-office treatment used to treat the root cause of evaporative dry eye disease – meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). IPL therapy has been used for years in dermatology to treat skin conditions such as rosacea and sun damage. The procedure is similar to those dermatology IPL treatments, but utilizes modified heat ranges and techniques that are safe to use on the sensitive skin of the eyelids. IPL therapy for dry eye should only be performed by a trained eye doctor using an IPL device specifically designed for dry eye.

MGD occurs when the oil-producing meibomian glands – located near the eyelids’ lash line – become clogged by thick oil secretions and stop producing healthy oil flow to keep the tear film moisturized. This often leads to common dry eye symptoms and discomfort, and can become a debilitating condition if not properly treated.

An IPL treatment typically lasts between 5-10 minutes. At The Eye Institute of Utah, the Salt Lake City eye doctor will first begin by placing shields over the patient’s eyes, and then a thin layer of cooling gel is applied to the treatment area. A small device is used to administer a series of light pulses that help heat, liquefy, and release thick oil secretions that have blocked the meibomian glands. Once the treatment is complete, the doctor will then manually express the oil from the glands and restore normal oil flow.

“Utah is known for having a high prevalence of dry eye disease, and many of our patients come in frustrated after trying so many treatments with limited success,” explains Dr. Randy B. Carter, optometrist and director of the dry eye clinic at The Eye Institute of Utah. “We are excited to be the first practice in Utah to offer IPL therapy as another amazing option for addressing dry eye.”

About The Eye Institute of Utah
The Eye Institute of Utah, a large specialty eye care center located in Salt Lake City, has one of the most advanced dry eye clinics in the western United States, offering a large arsenal of therapies and treatments to treat various forms of chronic dry eye. In addition to IPL therapy, The Eye Institute of Utah also offers the revolutionary LipiFlow® treatment, as well as traditional dry eye treatments such as artificial tears, RESTASIS®, punctal plugs, and more. The Salt Lake City dry eye team has also integrated a number of advanced diagnostic imaging tools to identify, diagnose, and monitor patients’ dry eye disease and meibomian gland function. Doctors at The Eye Institute of Utah are available for interview upon request.

To learn more about The Eye Institute of Utah, please visit and

1 Galor A, Kumar N, Feuer W, Lee DJ. “Environmental Factors Affect the Risk of Dry Eye Syndrome in a United States Veteran Population.” Ophthalmology. In Press February 2014.
2 American Lung Association. “State of the Air 2015.” Pg. 11. Web. Retrieved from <>


The Eye Institute of Utah
755 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 266-2283