Intense pulsed light treatment in meibomian gland dysfunction: A concise review

Ocul Surf. 2020 Oct;18(4):583-594. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2020.06.002. Epub 2020 Jul 3.


Purpose: To review the published literature related to application of intense pulsed light (IPL) for treating meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

Methods: The literature search included the PubMed database and used the keywords "Intense Pulsed Light and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction".

Results: IPL is a new instrumental treatment modality for MGD. This treatment modality was originally developed for use in dermatology and was later adopted in ophthalmology for treating MGD. IPL therapy for MGD can improve tear film stability, meibomian gland functionality, as well as subjective feeling of ocular dryness. However, in the reviewed literature, there was great variability in patient selection, evaluation criteria, and treatment protocols and durations.

Conclusion: Numerous studies report that IPL is effective for treating MGD and a safe procedure. There is great potential for further improvements to the procedure, as large comparative studies employing different treatment modalities are lacking.

Keywords: Dry eye disease; Intense pulsed light; Manual expression; Meibomian gland dysfunction; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction*
  • Meibomian Glands
  • Ophthalmology
  • Tears