Overview: This study evaluated the effectiveness of low-level light therapy (LLLT) with near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LED-LLLT) for the treatment of patients with dry eye.
Conclusion: In patients with dry eye, treatment with low-level light therapy with near-infrared light-emitting diodes is safe and effective.
To evaluate the efficacy of low-level light therapy (LLLT) with near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LED-LLLT) for the treatment of dry eye. 40 patients were randomly assigned with a 1:1 allocation ratio to receive LED-LLLT (LLLT group, n = 20) or placebo treatment (placebo group, n = 20). Patients in the LLLT group received LLLT twice a week for 3 weeks, for a total of 6 treatment sessions. The primary endpoint was the changes in the fluorescein corneal staining (FCS) score. The secondary endpoints were the changes in the ocular surface disease index (OSDI) score, lissamine green conjunctival staining (LGCS) scores, tear film break-up time (TBUT), Schirmer test, and the meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) index. These were evaluated before treatment and 4 weeks after start of treatment. The mean difference of score change in primary endpoint revealed significant improvement in the LLLT group, compared to the placebo. Among secondary endpoints, LGCS, Schirmer's test, upper meibography scores showed significant improvements, while TBUT, lid debris, lid swelling, lid telangiectasia, meibomian gland secretion and expressibility scores had slight improvement without significant differences. No serious adverse events were observed. The use of LED-LLLT for the treatment of dry eye and MGD appears to be safe and beneficial.