Low-level light therapy (LLLT), also known as photobiomodulation, has been proposed as a treatment for dry eye disease (DED). The idea behind LLLT is that exposure to specific wavelengths of light can stimulate cellular processes in the body, leading to reduced inflammation and improved tissue repair.
For DED specifically, LLLT is thought to work by increasing the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the mitochondria of meibomian glands cells. This can improve the function of these glands, allowing oil to express more effectively and thereby improving tear stability. LLLT may also help to reduce inflammation in the eyes by suppressing the activity of inflammatory mediators and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory molecules.
Several studies have investigated the use of LLLT for DED. Some studies have reported improvements in symptoms such as dryness, irritation, and photophobia, as well as increases in tear production and improvements in the quality of tears.