BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City-based eye doctor is trying to help more people suffering from a chronic eye condition by getting to the root cause of it using the power of light energy.

Dr. Brett Levinson of Specialized Eye Care in Cross Keys treats Marylanders who have been diagnosed with dry eye, a condition that happens when a person’s tears cannot provide adequate lubrication for the eyes.

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While many treat the issue with eye drops, they may not provide relief because Levinson says dry eye is neither a dry nor an eye problem. Instead, he often recommends using Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL).

“The oil glands of the eyelids get blocked,” said Dr. Levinson. “We use this technique to heat up the oil glands and squeeze them out.”

The treatment is often used by dermatologists to improve the look of skin but it also can help the eyes by heating the oils around them allowing them to flow freely again.

“Most people say I felt better right away and the effect lasted a few weeks. We do a second round that’ll last several months,” said Dr. Levinson.

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Levinson says IPL is not new. He has been treating patients with it for seven years but he is one of only a few doctors in Baltimore that use the technology for dry eye.

Kerry Levy is one of Dr. Levinson’s patients who’s been undergoing treatment for dry eye for years using IPL. She was suffering from severe headaches and had a hard time working before treatment.

“I was so desperate I was like I will try anything,” said Levy. She now gets IPL treatment almost every month and told WJZ that her eyes are much more comfortable now. “It’s really changed my life.”

Patients need two rounds of treatment initially and then need to return once or twice a year. The procedure is not covered by insurance and costs $220 per session for both eyes.

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To learn more about dry eye and IPL, visit the Specialized Eye Care website.

Stetson Miller