Thermal gland expression

woman with dry eye

What is TearCare?

TearCare is an FDA-approved, software-controlled, wearable eyelid technology that delivers targeted and adjustable thermal energy to the meibomian glands, for the purpose of alleviating dry eyes caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. It is a relatively new method of treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction – a condition that is characterized by issues with the production of oil for the tear film that coats the eyes. The meibomian glands are responsible for producing this oil, but when they fail to work properly, such as if there is a blockage of hardened oil deposits, the tear film that coats the eyes lacks lubrication.

The TearCare system provides localized heat therapy, which when used in conjunction with manual expression of the meibomian glands, can provide relief from dry eye disease in adults.

TearCare Procedure for Dry Eye

Each TearCare procedure consists of 12 minutes of thermal eyelid treatment, which is immediately followed by manual expression of the meibomian glands. The heat stimulates the production of the oils that form part of tear film, while also warming any hardened oil deposits so that blockages can be removed. The manual expression sees gentle pressure being applied to the glands, which encourages any old oil deposits to pass through and re-establishes the flow of oil into the tear film. This will help prevent future issues with meibomian gland dysfunction.

TearCare Protocol

  • Arrive for procedure without any eye make up or skin care products on the face

  • The single-use iLid devices, which are shaped to conform to natural eyelid anatomy, are placed onto the upper and lower eyelids

  • The devices are then attached to the TearCare controller, which is used to deliver regulated, targeted thermal energy across the eyelids at a consistent temperature of between 41-45°C

  • After the thermal cycle, your provider will carry out in-office, manual expression to evacuate any residual meibomian gland obstructions

Side effects of TearCare for Dry Eye

As with any treatment, there is the possibility that patients will have some side effects from TearCare. This risk is very low, and any side effects are usually minor and temporary. Possible side effects from TearCare include:

  • Allergic reaction to the adhesive used to apply the iLid devices

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Corneal abrasion

  • Styes

  • Swelling or burning of the eyelids

  • Soreness that lasts for up to 48 hours

Contraindications for TearCare for Dry Eye (Non-Inclusive List)

  • Recent (within the last 90 days) surgical procedure to the eye or eyelid

  • History of Herpes Simplex or Herpes Zoster of the eye or eyelid

  • Active ocular or periocular infection, inflammation, or irritation
    Ocular surface ulcers

TearCare for Dry Eye Aftercare

  • Use warm compresses on the eyelids and massage the upper and lower eyelids of both eyes, at least once per day

  • Use artificial tears as recommended by your TearCare therapist

  • Avoid exposure to blowing air from fans, heaters, or air-conditioners

  • Wear glasses/sunglasses to reduce exposure to outdoor wind

  • You can wear contact lenses immediately after your treatment

  • You can also wear eye makeup immediately after TearCare treatment

Who should consider TearCare Treatment for Dry Eye?

  • Patients with meibomian gland dysfunction

  • Patients who are using artificial tears multiple times during the day

  • Patients using Xiidra or Restasis

  • Patients who are frustrated with persistently dry, scratchy, and irritated eyes, despite trying other treatments

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