What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye is a common disease affecting vision quality and eye comfort. Symptoms of Dry Eye can vary widely from patient to patient. People with Dry Eye may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
• Dry, gritty, or itchy sensation
• Stinging
• Irritation
• Light sensitivity
• Visual fluctuation
• Watery eyes

At our clinic, we use a number of different technologies to determine whether you may be experiencing Dry Eye and to better understand your symptoms. Dry Eye is a serious condition that can dramatically affect your vision and your eye health.

What causes Dry Eye?

Dry eye can be influenced by a number of factors related to environment and health that determine tear quality. Tears have 3 layers:

• a mucus layer,
• an aqueous (watery) layer, and
• a lipid (oily) layer.

If there’s an imbalance in these layers, your vision and comfort of your eyes may be affected. For example, if not enough lipid layer is being produced, tears may evaporate too quickly and cause symptoms ranging from discomfort to extra tear production and poor quality of vision.

Poor tear quality is often caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), a condition that impacts the production of oils in your tears. The most common form of MGD is obstruction of the oil producing glands in the eyelids. At eye&I, we will test your tear quality to determine whether MGD is contributing to or causing your dry eye symptoms and create a customized treatment plan to address it.

How do we treat Dry Eye?

Each case of Dry Eye is unique. We consider the factors causing your dry eye as well as your tear quality to develop a custom dry eye treatment plan.

​​​​​​​Management considerations for Dry Eye include artificial tears/lubricant drops which provide short-term relief of symptoms. Other options include prescription anti-inflammatory drops and in-office obstruction removal with medical devices like The TearCare® System.

What is TearCare®?

TearCare® is an innovative Dry Eye procedure that targets the blocked meibomian glands in your eyelids that produce oils to keep your tears healthy. When these glands become blocked or have reduced function, your tears may evaporate more quickly. Unblocking these glands with The TearCare® System can help restore their function and stabilize the tear film. This may improve the quality of tears and reduce symptoms like dryness, gritty or scratchy sensations, blurry vision, and watery eyes.

​​​​​​​At your appointment, we will determine whether your dry eye symptoms are caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and would benefit from the use of The TearCare® System.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TearCare?

TearCare is an advanced and non-invasive therapeutic solution designed to treat dry eye syndrome by addressing meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and improving the quality of the tear film.

How does TearCare work?

TearCare works by applying controlled, localized heat to the eyelids. This heat helps to melt and liquefy the blockages in the meibomian glands, allowing for more effective expression of the gland's natural oils, which are essential for a healthy tear film.

What does treatment with TearCare involve?

Treatment with TearCare typically involves the following steps:

  • Your eye care provider will assess your dry eye condition to determine if TearCare is suitable for you.

  • If it's deemed appropriate, small devices with precise temperature control are applied to your eyelids to deliver the therapeutic heat.

  • The heat is applied in a controlled and gentle manner, ensuring comfort and safety.

  • The procedure usually takes about 15-20 minutes and is well-tolerated by most patients.

  • Afterward, your provider may perform meibomian gland expression to release the melted oils.

  • Multiple treatment sessions may be recommended, depending on the severity of your condition.

When should I expect an improvement?

Improvement with TearCare can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience relief and improved eye comfort relatively quickly, while others may require several sessions over a few weeks to see significant improvement.

Does insurance cover the cost?

No, it is a private pay procedure.

What should I expect after treatment?

After TearCare treatment, you may experience temporary relief of dry eye symptoms. However, it's essential to continue with any prescribed aftercare, which may include warm compresses, eyelid hygiene, and lubricating eye drops to maintain and enhance the results.

What are the potential risks and side effects?

TearCare is generally considered safe with minimal risks, but potential side effects may include:

  • Temporary redness or discomfort on the eyelids.

  • Mild irritation or sensitivity to light immediately following treatment.

  • In rare cases, minor skin burns, so it's crucial to have the procedure performed by a trained and experienced eye care professional.