Kirkwood Eye Associates First To Offer Low Level Laser Therapy Dry Eye Treatment in the Saint Louis Area
We at Kirkwood Eye Associates are excited to offer the next generation tool in the fight against dry eye disease. We are the first practice in St. Louis to offer Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to treat meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and dry eye diseases (DED). This revolutionary treatment is done in office and is safe, painless and effective in unclogging tear glands and up regulating tear production to allow for a more stabile and robust tear film.
We have always strived to offer the latest in-office therapies to treat dry eye including the Lipiflow, the iLux, the ABmax Blepharo-exfoliator, punctal occlusion, amniotic membrane therapy, demodex treaments and more. In-office dry eye treatments have many advantages over at-home therapies and prescription drugs. They often cost less over time, have little or no side effects, don’t require nightly care regimens and, best of all, they target the cause of the tear film dysfunction and allow the eye to work for itself, instead of relying on prescription drugs.
How does LLLT work? Simply put, a mask is placed over the eyes and upper face that is equipped with high energy diodes that emit a specific wavelength of light. This up-regulates the action of the cells powerhouse known as mitochondria. This achieves two results. First, this increased metabolic activity inside the tear glands generates heat that melts blockages in the meibomian glands and lacrimal glands, allowing tears to flow more freely. Second, the increase in metabolism charges the tear glands, increasing tear output. Added bonus… this treatment also boosts collagen production around the eye area and can help alleviate wrinkles.
The result is clear and robust lipid and aqueous production, the two building blocks of our tear film. The treatment lasts 15 minutes and is painless. I can be repeated as often as necessary to alleviate symptoms and keep them at bay. We often combine this therapy with eyelash exfoliation to clear away dirt, bacteria and biofilm from the lid margin that can clog and disrupt gland function. For more severe cases, it can also be combined with the iLux meibomian gland expression system.
This brand new technology is FDA approved and has been used for years in Europe with great success. It is not covered by insurance but treatments often cost less than a month of dry eye medications like Xiidra or Restasis and don’t require daily drop instillation that sting and bad taste.
Conditions that would benefit from LLLT:
Dry Eye and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
If you have dry eye of any severity, from mild contact lens dryness to stinging eyes at the computer, to severe painful dry eye secondary to an autoimmune condition, call us to set up an appointment for this exciting new treatment.
Andrew Biondo, OD, FSLS is the Primary Medical Director at Kirkwood Eye Associates in Kirkwood, MO. Serving the greater St. Louis area, Dr. Biondo has 12 years of experience as an eye care provider, health educator & consultant to the specialty contact lens industry. His special interests include contact lenses, dry eye disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration, laser eye surgery & preventive vision care.