Can Low-Level Light Therapy Treat Dry Eye?

Can Low-Level Light Therapy Treat Dry Eye
Can Low-Level Light Therapy Treat Dry Eye?

Low-level light therapy (LLLT) for dry eye illness is a topic of research. Your meibomian glands, which keep your eyes moist, may be stimulated by the red light.

When your eyes don't keep moist, a common ailment known as dry eye develops. Prescription or over-the-counter eye drops are commonly used to treat it.

Since the 1960s, low-level light treatment (LLLT) has been utilised to cure skin damage. To lessen inflammation, red and near-infrared light are used.


Another well-known dermatological (skin-related) treatment that is currently used for dry eyes is intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy.

IPL uses intense light bursts to treat inflammation by heating your blood vessels. Warming the oil in your meibomian glands probably helps with dry eye.

On the other hand, LLLT takes advantage of non-visible light wavelengths. It is non-thermal, hence it doesn't produce heat.

Unlike IPL, LLLT can be used on places like your eyelids that are sensitive to bright light. The use of LLLT is regarded as secure for all skin types.

LLLT may be more efficient than IPL at reducing the symptoms of dry eye, according to the authors of a small 2023 study involving 40 dry eye patients.

Additionally, combining IPL and LLLT treatment may be advantageous.

Does low-level light therapy work for dry eyes?

Dry eye disease frequently has meibomian gland dysfunction as its underlying cause. By inducing an immunological response at the cellular level in the meibomian glands, LLLT probably alleviates dry eye. The action in question is called photoactivation.

Non-visible light energy is absorbed by cells during photoactivation. This energy may enhance the meibomian glands' general performance when applied to them.

A tiny 2022 study reveals that LLLT for dry eye offers promise, even though research into this topic is still underway.

40 dry eye patients participated in the trial and were randomly assigned to either LLLT or a placebo. According to the scientists, individuals' problems related to dry eye significantly improved after just six LLLT sessions.

Other studies have concentrated on combining IPL with LLLT. For instance:
  • Researchers found that a brief course of IPL/ILLT dramatically enhanced meibomian gland function in a 2019 trial with 230 participants.
  • Up to 15 months after receiving combined IPL/LLLT treatment, 156 patients in a research published in 2021 showed significant improvements in their dry eye symptoms.
  • IPL/LLLT treatment for dry eye illness in 20 persons with Sjögren disease was the target of a different 2021 investigation. The authors stated that the therapy is probably helpful.
  • The authors of a 2023 review of six studies came to the conclusion that IPL and LLLT used in combination can benefit persons with dry eye illness brought on by meibomian gland dysfunction.
To examine the advantages of LLLT as a stand-alone therapy, more study is required.

Do low-level light therapies for dry eyes have any risks?

LLLT is regarded as secure. No dangers or side effects of LLLT for dry eye were detected in any of the studies mentioned in the previous section.

LLLT's applications were examined in 2021, and numerous possible issues were found, including:
  • infections
  • milia
  • scarring
  • acne
  • burns
  • contact rash
  • eye injuries
  • skin irritation
  • uneven skin tone

Low-level light therapy procedure for treating dry eye

LLLT is often performed in a clinic under a medical professional's supervision.

For the treatment, you'll spend 15 to 30 minutes sitting in a chair while donning a face mask that emits low-intensity light. To get LLLT, you must close your eyes.

You can immediately resume your regular activities after the therapy.


LLLT is a newly developed dry eye therapy. A face mask sends particular non-visible light wavelengths to the area around your eyes. Your meibomian glands are stimulated throughout this process to secrete oils that keep your eyes moist.

The majority of research done so far has demonstrated that LLLT is a successful dry eye treatment when combined with IPL. The effectiveness of LLLT alone, however, needs further study.


Is closing your eyes good for dry eyes?

Eyes that aren't properly moisturised can be managed by keeping them closed all the time.

Is low-level light therapy safe?

Doesn't hurt or burn the skin

Can crying stop dry eyes?

Tears, whether you're crying or not, can help by moistening your eyes.

Are there exercises for dry eyes?

Blinking exercises can help improve the symptoms of dry eyes.

Can lack of sleep cause dry eyes?

Not getting enough sleep can lead to having dry, itchy, or bloodshot eyes.

Is blinking good for dry eyes?

Consciously blinking more regularly is recommended by the AOA to help with dry eye.

Is Walking good for dry eyes?

Researchers from the University of Waterloo and their team found that aerobic exercise can also help to relieve dry, itchy eyes since it significantly increases tear production and tear film integrity.

Can dry eyes cause blurry vision?

Blurred vision

Is Milk good for dry eyes?

Many dairy products contain vitamins and minerals that are good for your eyes.

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