An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from or are predisposed to dry eye disease, DED. Mild dry eye can affect routine activities such as reading, working on a computer, or driving. Severe cases of DED can significantly impact your sight quality. To treat dry eye symptoms, people often turn to over-the-counter medications or artificial tears.
However, when neither of those options provides relief for your dry eye symptoms, you may be suffering from Meibomian Gland Disorder, MGD. As the leading cause of DED, MGD is a blockage or dysfunction of the meibomian glands, which secrete an oily substance called meibum, preventing evaporation of the eye’s tear film. The Cleveland Eye Clinic has a treatment called TearCare that helps break up the blockage. Learn more about TearCare and how to tell if it’s the right treatment for your DED symptoms.
What Is TearCare and How Does It Work?
TearCare is a unique treatment for dry eye because it provides a customized, open-eye experience for patients. The main objective of TearCare is to apply targeted heat to your eyelids, which loosens up the blockage. The wearable eyelid technology allows for a custom fit and the software used to control the treatment always provides the appropriate amount of heat.
During your TearCare procedure, Your eye care provider will place a set of flexible eyelid devices. One part will be placed just above your eye and the other part just below it, allowing the system to apply targeted heat to your meibomian glands. As the eyelid devices apply heat, you will continue blinking as you usually would to help clear your glands.
Once your treatment is over, your eye care provider will gently remove the eyelid devices. To clear any residual blockage, your eye care provider will use a special pair of forceps. Depending on your situation, your eye care provider may include additional meibomian gland clearance as they see fit.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eye
Those who suffer from dry eye are all too familiar with the discomfort and vision problems it causes. Dry eye is mainly caused by lack of tear production or tears evaporating too quickly. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of dry eye or MGD, TearCare may be able to help. Common symptoms include:
- Red eyes
- Itchy, burning, stinging eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Watery eyes
- Blurry vision
- Struggling to drive at night
Dry Eye Treatment With the TearCare Procedure
What separates TearCare from other DED treatments is that your eyes are open during the procedure, allowing for a comfortable experience. Other treatments may involve medical devices sitting over your eyes. Since your eyes are open and you can blink during TearCare, you get relief even faster than traditional treatment. Once the treatment is over, you’ll notice long-lasting relief from your dry eye symptoms.
Interested in TearCare as a treatment for your dry eyes? Schedule an appointment so we may determine if you’re a candidate for the procedure. Some conditions, such as corneal dystrophy or ocular surface abnormalities, can prevent patients from receiving TearCare. If you’re unsure if you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, take our Dry-Eye Test.
Will I Still Need Eye Drops after a TearCare Procedure?
At the Cleveland Eye Clinic, our patients can expect us to do everything we can to ensure the best results from their TearCare procedure. With that said, everyone’s situation is different. As a result of your procedure, you may find yourself less reliant on eye drops. However, there is still a chance you’ll need to continue using eye drop following your procedure. To help ensure the best results a follow-up appointment is scheduled about 3-4 weeks after your procedure. The TearCare procedure typically takes about 25-30 minutes to complete.
Get Relief for your Dry Eye at the Cleveland Eye Clinic
If you’re tired of eye drops being ineffective against your dry eye symptoms, schedule an appointment. Our doctors can help you determine if TearCare is the right treatment for you. Even if you’re not a candidate for the procedure, we have several other dry eye treatments that’ll provide you with much-needed relief.