Sciton® BroadBand Light™ Dry Eye Treatment
For the safe, effective treatment of Dry Eye Disease and Blepharitis
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is already recognised for its efficacy in the treatment of Dry Eye Disease (DED). Yet clinical research has shown how Sciton®’s BBL® Dry Eye Treatment outperforms standard IPL in reducing the frequency and severity of DED symptoms, with 85% of those tested experiencing significant decrease, and 25% reporting no DED symptoms at all after treatment. In addition, Sciton®’s BBL® Dry Eye Treatment can also safely treat blepharitis. All Sciton® BBL® Dry Eye Treatments at The Clinic Holland Park, West London are administered by one of our team of highly experienced oculoplastic surgeons.
The vast majority of DED patients have evaporative dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MGD is a chronic condition, caused by terminal duct obstruction and/or changes in glandular secretion, which affect the stability of the tear film lipid layer. Current treatment options for DED with MGD include: artificial tears, warm compresses, eyelid scrubs, punctal plugs, eye drops, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, and oral medication; yet many patients do not achieve complete or long-term relief with these treatments.
DED is due to lack of tears, whereas MGD is due to a lack of oil production to protect the tears. Yet the symptoms of MGD – red eyes, a gritty or burning feeling, itchy or irritated eyes and blurred vision – are nearly the same as those of DED, so a comprehensive eye examination and diagnosis will first of all be conducted by one our expert ophthalmologists.
Safety and efficacy were assessed in two 2021 research studies from Ontario, Canada and Los Angeles, US. BBL was demonstrated as safe and effective; no significant or long-term adverse effects were reported. Minor temporary side effects included temporary eyelash thinning and temporary hyperpigmentation. Further, BBL therapy is only suitable for Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV.
While we are not aware of any head-to-head studies, BroadBand Light™ (BBL®) is a high-quality, enhanced IPL modality that uses polychromatic, non-coherent, continuous light waves from the visible to the infrared spectrum, which is known for its safety, high skin-coverage rate, and minimal recovery time.
Compared with IPL alone, Sciton®’s BBL® Dry Eye Treatment uses continuous pulsed light in the red and infrared spectrum to provide more evenly distributed heat to the skin and subcutaneous tissues; and this heat generated from continuous pulsed light has a two-fold effect in improving MG structure and function. First of all, because the melting point of meibum is higher in patients with MGD, Sciton®’s BBL® Dry Eye Treatment can stimulate MGs by making meibum less viscous, thereby promoting outflow. Secondly, heat from BBL Dry Eye Treatment reduces harmful bacteria and Demodex mite infection in the eyelids and ocular surface, and limits inflammation and obstruction of MG orifices. Sciton®’s BBL® Dry Eye Treatment delivers more evenly distributed energy and heat, without compromising safety. Furthermore, Sciton®’s BBL® has a wider range of spot sizes and filters, which allows for targeted treatments and a better safety profile for darker skin types.
The treatment is much like a standard Sciton® BBL® facial. Before treatment, the skin to be treated will be prepped with a topical, anaesthetic gel; and during the procedure, you will wear protective goggles on your eyes. The BBL laser is quickly passed over the entire area to be treated, and the laser settings will be customised to suit the client and their skin type. The laser procedure takes just a few minutes, and then you are free to go.
Downtime is minimal; although you are welcome to recuperate in one of our recovery pods before you leave.
For DED and/or blepharitis, four sessions of BBL® (once a month for 4 months) should be sufficient to reduce frequency of redness and symptoms. During this time, all patients are advised to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
However, how many sessions will depend on the individual; and despite significant improvements in meibomian gland structure, four sessions of BBL® Dry Eye Treatment may not be enough in some instances of DED to produce significant functional improvements in tear quality and volume. In these cases, we would expect to see further improvements with additional sessions.