Intense Pulsed Light Treatment for Itch Associated with Allergic Keratoconjunctivitis: A Retrospective Study of 35 Cases

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2021 Mar;39(3):196-203. doi: 10.1089/photob.2020.4826. Epub 2021 Feb 23.


Objective: To conduct a preliminary assessment of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment for allergic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC)-associated ocular itch. Background: Current control measures for AKC rely primarily on drugs. IPL is effective for dry eye disease (DED). Furthermore, phototherapy is effective for managing skin inflammation and pruritus, suggesting that eye itching could decrease in some patients having AKC complicated with DED following IPL treatment to control dry eye symptoms. Methods: Thirty-five patients having DED complicated with mid-to-severe AKC were administered three IPL treatments to the periorbital skin. The eye scores of subjective symptoms and signs of AKC and tear film breakup time (TBUT) were retrospectively assessed before and after each treatment. Results: The scores for AKC-related symptoms and signs were determined four times: on Day 1 (time 0), Day 15 (time 1), Day 45 (time 2), and Day 75 (time 3) before each treatment. The average symptom score significantly decreased with treatments (time 0: 30.97, time 1: 15.03, time 3: 10). The average sign score for both eyes decreased after the first IPL treatment (left eye: 7.97 vs. 11.38; right eye: 8.1 vs. 11.1). There were no further improvements in the signs after the last treatment. The TBUT value in the right eye increased from times 0 to 3 (2.31 vs. 4.66 vs. 7.71 vs. 7.74). The TBUT value in the left eye increased from times 0 to 3 (2.50 vs. 6.97 vs. 7.57 vs. 8.24). Conclusions: Symptoms and signs improved after IPL treatment in patients with AKC. Eye itching was gradually controlled and rarely recurred. IPL may be effective for AKC treatment.

Keywords: allergic keratoconjunctivitis; dry eye disease; eye itching; inflammatory response; intense pulsed light; itch channel.

MeSH terms

  • Dry Eye Syndromes*
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis* / complications
  • Keratoconjunctivitis* / therapy
  • Phototherapy
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Pruritus / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies