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  • Ipl and blepharitis swelling

    Hi everyone,
    I'm hoping anyone who has had ipl could give me some advice on what to expect. I have mgd and blepharitis and possibly a bit of ocular rosacea. I would really like to know if it helped or hindered the eyelid swelling. I'm terrified of it getting worse than it is now.
    I went to the eye doctor 8 months ago with dryness issues and was told I had blepharitis on the inside of my lids and mgd. At this point he told me to do lipiflow and after the procedure everything got so much worse. I went from uncomfortable before to ugly swollen eyelids that still persist. I was in so much pain after the procedure from all the swelling I ended up in the emergency room. From what I understand that is not a common reaction to lipiflow so I'm extra hesitant moving forward with other treatments. Any advice at all on ipl would mean so much to me. Thanks

  • #2
    Hi MindOverMatter,
    My daughter and I have each had IPL four times. Each time a month apart. It helped her a lot, especially in the beginning (Unfortunately, now she is still dry), but it did nothing for me. She had toothpaste-like meibum though, and my meibum was thin. So maybe that's why I couldn't tell a difference? The IPL device should be used AROUND your eye, but not on top of the upper eyelid itself. At least, our provider did not use it over the top eyelid (which should be closed) because that would have brought the light too close to the eye.

    A protective cover will be put on your closed eye and the doctor will zap around the eye on the upper cheeks, above the eyebrows, near the inner nose, etc. I am sure you can find a video online of an IPL demonstration. The IPL itself is not too uncomfortable, but the manual gland expression that follows might be. (I think its standard protocol to include gland expression after IPL) They use an instrument or sometimes their fingers to press against the edge of the lid to get the meibum flowing. Your lids will be sore afterwards. At least ours were. Some folks might say that it could reduce your swelling, if the swelling is caused by meibum backing up in the lid, but it really depends on what's causing the swelling in the first place. If you suffered from an injury to the eyelid due to Lipiflow, then I don't know.

    My daughter had Lipiflow several months before IPL and she had real discomfort during and afterwards and some eyelid swelling on top, but that went away after some steroid use. We were actually a little upset about the whole thing. They had promised "it will feel good!" but it did not. It was quite uncomfortable for her to have the device wrapped around her lids. I thought it was invasive.

    Did you go on steroid eye drops after your lids swelled up? That might help to bring down the swelling. Please consult with a doctor to see if you should try it --if you haven't already --for a couple of weeks.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response. I did end up on steroids after the lipiflow and it took several months but they finally settled down to the point where I can at least function again. I found the lipiflow to be invasive as well and would never do it again. I'm told my oil is good quality and that I have some but not a lot of open glands. I just got a referral today to see a doctor a few hours from me for an ipl consultation. I'm sorry to hear that it did nothing for you and that your daughter is back to dry again. Did your daughter do any follow up treatments after the initial four and it just stopped being effective or did she just stop after the four? Could I also ask you how long your eyelids were bothered for after the expression part? That is what I am the most nervous about. I don't want to need steroids again like I did following the lipiflow. If only there was a perfect answer to all of this! I really don't know what causes my swelling. It goes down a lot during the day but is always terrible in the morning. I don't have flaking or crusting just really swollen lids. My doctor says that mgd caused the blepharitis and that there is a bit of ocular rosacea. Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate it!

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      • #4
        I am sorry for the delay in responding. I think that the discomfort from the gland expression lasted a day and maybe half of the next day. But mostly that same day. I don't think you need to be worried about using steroids, provided that you are using something weak like Lotemax and provided that you don't have high pressure or something like glaucoma already. I used to be scared of using steroid drops, but I now wish I had been more aggressive with them in the beginning.

        But I understand it if you want to limit your exposure to drops in general. We only went the four times for various reasons. I think that she could have probably returned after another four months' time. I think that I got nervous about whether the IPL was doing anything to her skin under her eyes. I haven't read anything that would suggest that it would, I just got nervous. She is young and I feel responsible for her. And it's really expensive for us to fly to Memphis where she had it done by the doctor who created it. So we would be spending upwards of $1,200 with the flight plus the treatment each time.

        Another person I have been communicating with suggested that I take her back for allergy testing. She had tested negative to skin scratch testing before, but now we are going to do intradermal shot testing to make sure. Swelling of the upper lids has got to be either allergy or blocked glands....do you use an allergy eye drop like Patanol? And do you have a dust cover on your pillow and bed. This is Allergy 101 but I don't want to point you in the wrong direction, either!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MindOverMatter View Post
          Hi everyone,
          I'm hoping anyone who has had ipl could give me some advice on what to expect. I have mgd and blepharitis and possibly a bit of ocular rosacea. I would really like to know if it helped or hindered the eyelid swelling. I'm terrified of it getting worse than it is now.
          I went to the eye doctor 8 months ago with dryness issues and was told I had blepharitis on the inside of my lids and mgd. At this point he told me to do lipiflow and after the procedure everything got so much worse. I went from uncomfortable before to ugly swollen eyelids that still persist. I was in so much pain after the procedure from all the swelling I ended up in the emergency room. From what I understand that is not a common reaction to lipiflow so I'm extra hesitant moving forward with other treatments. Any advice at all on ipl would mean so much to me. Thanks
          Hi,
          1) maybe try BlephEx to clean lids (by dr)?
          2) it is safer to try traditional treaments (warm compress) first for 2-4 months, if not working try others.
          3) for MGD - warm compress is a must but HOW to master it is a challenge - try to find out an effective way, make sure heat is consistant, high enough and time is long enough. For me, I need 43-45C degrees at least in the beginning - which I just realized it recently.

          4) Blephartis - if you have Demodex, only 4% 'tea tree oil' can kill them. There is commercial available wipers which others find them effective. Sometimes I use tea tree oil shampoo (soap free) to clean my lashes in the morning although Dr did not find Demodexs. Seems these wipers and shampoo may not kill Demodex (due to low %) but can 'scare' them away.

          6) Probing - some doctors beleive it helps.

          Good luck.
          Last edited by MGD1701; 10-Mar-2017, 04:00.

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