From the minute you wake up until the minute you drift off to sleep, your eyes are working for you. Poor vision makes it hard to read, drive, cook, and work at a computer. The good news is that many eye problems and diseases can be treated if caught early.

One common complaint is dry eye syndrome. For the 20 million Ameri­cans who suffer from chronic dry eye, the blurred vision, irritation and redness of the condition are daily burdens . For years patients have dealt with the problem by resorting to eye drops, compresses, eyelid scrubs, and special eyeglasses. Today the problem can be addressed through revolu­tionary Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, offered at Chu Vision  Institute one of the first 15 sites in the country to take advan­tage of the technology.

"One of the key discoveries in the last several years is that we've learned dry eye is caused by inflammatory pathways," says Dr. Y. Ralph Chu, founder and medical director of Chu Vision Institute. "Chronic, low-grade inflammation on the eye leads to damage to the surface as well as [damage] to the tissue that secretes the material that's needed to keep the eye healthy."

IPL therapy started as a dermatology treatment  for  patients with  rosacea.  It works on dry eye  by creating a significant  amount of  superficial  heat, targeting the  abnormal blood vessels and increasing the flow of im­pacted meibomian secretions.  It's comfort­ able and quick,  and  has the  pleasant side effect  of younger,  healthier-looking skin .

In addition to dry eye treatment, patients regularly make appointments at Chu Vi­ sion Institute for vision correction surgery, such as LASIK. (Past patients include local celebrities Brian "BT" Turner of KTWIN 96.3 FM; former Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek, and Harry Potter illustrator Mary Grandpre.) Dr. Chu, a highly skilled fellowship-trained corneal specialist, also performs corneal, refractive, and cataract surgery (including the state-of-the-art fem­to second laser cataract surgery) . Consulta­tions and procedures are done in one comfortable and convenient location, with minimal inter­ruption to patients'  daily activities.

It is important to Dr. Chu and his staff to make sure each patient fully under­ stands their available treatment options and feels comfortable asking questions .

"Our goal is to em­ power our  patients through education so that they can make the best decisions possible to improve their vision and transform their lives," says Dr. Chu.

Minnesota Monthly