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2211 Bush St. San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 474-3333
Team Ophthalmologist for the
San Francisco Giants

(415) 474-9090

Dry Eye

Dry eye is the term for when your eyes are insufficiently moisturized, either because they do not produce enough tears or because the tears have an improper chemical composition. It often occurs during the natural aging process, but it can also form as a result of eyelid or blinking problems, certain medications (antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants), climate (low humidity, wind, dust), injury, and various health problems (arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome).

What Is the OptiLight by Lumenis & How Can It Manage Your Dry Eye?

Dry eye disease is a widespread and common issue for up to 49 million Americans. This chronic condition can have a significant impact on your quality of life, causing a foreign body sensation in your eyes, pain, blurry vision, and dry or watery eyes. Untreated, it can even lead to further eye health complications. 

Despite these constant detrimental effects on quality of life, many dry eye sufferers are not aware that they’re suffering from dry eye disease or that real treatments exist. Instead, they just live with the discomfort.

At Goodman Eye Center, our team has the knowledge and expertise to help you find relief from dry eye disease. 

To evaluate and diagnose dry eye disease, we use advanced diagnostic tools including Schirmer’s testing and osmolarity testing. These tests help us to quantify, monitor, and measure your tear film quality and tear production. Once we have this information we can build a custom dry eye treatment plan so you can get back to seeing clearly and comfortably. 

We’re proud to offer OptiLight by Lumenis to our patients, specially designed for dry eye management.

What Is OptiLight by Lumenis?

OptiLight by Lumenis is a light-based, non-invasive treatment done in the area around the eyes to manage dry eye. The first and only IPL FDA-approved for dry eye management.

The treatment is safe, gentle, and is backed by more than 20 clinical studies.

How Does It Work?

OptiLight uses precise pulses of light to reduce the inflammation that is typically associated with dry eye disease, improve tear break-up time, and increase meibomian gland functionality. 

This application can significantly relieve dry eye indicators and has a multi-factorial effect, including:

  • Increasing tear break-up time
  • Reducing the amount of demodex mites and bacteria living around your eyes
  • Eliminating blood vessels that contribute to inflammation
  • Improving meibomian gland functionality

What to Expect

Before Your Treatment

If your ophthalmologist or optometrist has recommended IPL treatment, they will go over everything you can expect before, during, and after your appointment. 

To protect your skin and promote good results, we ask that you abide by the following recommendations:

  • Avoid using skin brightening agents or serums for the week before your appointment
  • Avoid using tanning beds 1 month prior to your appointment 
  • Do not get botox for at least 3 months before your appointment
  • Do not take oral isotretinoin, tetracycline, or doxycycline in the 3 months prior to your appointment 

When you arrive at Goodman Eye Center for your treatment, we’ll ask you to remove all facial and eye makeup. Then, you can leave the rest up to us! 

During Your Treatment

This treatment is fast and simple. During the treatment your doctor will apply a cool gel on the treatment area and cover your eyes with shields.

As light is applied to the skin, you may experience a warm sensation. The treatment is gentle with minimum discomfort. Some patients describe a warm yet mild tapping sensation. The treatment itself will only take 10–15 minutes.

OptiLight is sometimes followed by meibomian gland expression.

After Your Treatment

After your treatment, your doctor will remove the remaining gel and apply sunscreen to the treatment area.  
When performed by one of our specially trained eye providers , IPL is an extremely safe procedure. While side effects are uncommon, your eyes may feel slightly more dry or gritty for the first 24 hours. If you do experience dry eyes following your procedure, you can use preservative-free artificial tears to alleviate your symptoms. 

Following IPL treatment, your skin will continue to be photosensitive for a few days, so we recommend protecting your skin by avoiding sun exposure and wearing sunscreen. 

Part of Your Custom Treatment Plan

A course of treatment typically includes 4 sessions spaced 3–4 weeks apart.

In addition to IPL, we offer a range of dry eye treatment options to ensure your eyes get the care they need. 

At Goodman Eye Center we offer: 

  • Prescription dry eye medications
  • Punctal plug occlusion
  • Meibomian gland expression

If you’re interested in what dry eye therapy can do for you, please schedule an appointment with our dry eye specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Shen. Dr. Shen can help create a treatment plan completely tailored to you.

Will the OptiLight by Lumenis Work for Me? 

While OptiLight by Lumenis is an effective dry eye management solution, we want to make sure it’s right for you. We do not recommend this treatment if you:

  • Suffer from aqueous deficiency dry eye (rather than evaporative dry eye or meibomian gland dysfunction)
  • Have a history of keloid scarring
  • Have severe scarring around your eyes

Ultimately, your doctor is the only person who can determine whether this option is right for you. During your next appointment, ask us if you are a good candidate for OptiLight by Lumenis.

You Don’t Have to Live With Dry Eye Anymore

Dry, irritated eyes can be managed with a new treatment that brings comfort and can restore quality of life. Visit your eye doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Learn more about the importance of the tear film below:


Blepharitis is a common side effect of Dry Eye, causing irritation and swelling at the base of the eyelashes:  



Why are your tear ducts important? Watch below to find out!


Learn More about Dry Eye