Treating Dry Eye With Radio Frequency? Top 7 FAQs

Dr. Russel Lazarus, November 25, 2021

Could radiofrequency waves successfully treat dry eyes?

Radiofrequency (RF) has recently become the latest treatment for dry eye syndrome. Here you will find the most frequently asked questions about this new dry eye treatment.

Q1: What is radiofrequency?

Radiofrequency (RF) is a technique that stimulates collagen production by safely delivering high frequency electrical currents to the surface of the skin.

The electrical currents generate heat, at a predetermined temperature, to increase collagen growth within the superficial and deeper layers of the skin.

This increase in collagen helps to tighten the skin, resulting in an improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Q2: How can radiofrequency treatments help dry eye?

About 80% of dry eye syndrome is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). 

Meibomian gland dysfunction occurs when the meibomian glands become blocked or clogged by thick secretions. This impacts the normal flow of oil into the tear film and affects the quantity and quality of your tears— the cause of your dry eye symptoms.

When RF is applied to the skin adjacent to the eyes, the heat melts the thick oil secretions clogging the meibomian glands. This enables improved oil flow into the tears.

RF also helps to reduce inflammation around the eyes, which may be contributing to your eye condition.

Q3: How long does the RF treatment take?

This non-invasive, in-office procedure generally takes around 10 to 20 minutes to complete. But, you can expect to be at your eye doctor’s office for 45 minutes to an hour to allow for preparations before your treatment and some time to rest after your treatment.

SEE RELATED: Guide to Eye Drops

If chronic dry eyes are impacting your life, schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you to determine if radiofrequency can alleviate your symptoms. 

Find an eye doctor near you

Q4: Is the RF treatment painful?


You should not feel any pain or discomfort during your RF treatment.

Using the RF device, your eye doctor will gently massage your upper eyelid and the skin beneath your lower eyelid with a soothing gel.

Q5: What can I expect following the RF treatment?

You may notice some redness and mild swelling around your eyes for a couple of hours after your RF procedure.

It is a good idea to avoid exposing the area to heat until your skin has returned to its normal color and the swelling has gone down. Gently moisturizing the area may be recommended to soothe the skin following your treatment.

Q6: How long does it take to see results?

Optimal results are typically noticed after 3 to 4 treatments, which are usually spaced over 2 to 4 weeks.

LEARN MORE: Guide to Dry Eye

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic dry eyes, schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you to learn more about radiofrequency for dry eye.

Radiofrequency has been proven effective in alleviating dry eye syndrome caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. 

Here are the most frequently asked questions about radiofrequency as a dry eye treatment.