TearCare system relieves dry eye disease symptoms, improves meibomian glands
Patients reported major improvements to their dry eye disease symptoms and better functioning meibomian glands after receiving treatment with the TearCare system, according to a study published in Optometry and Vision Science.
“The dry eye disease that results from meibomian gland disease can ultimately lead to adverse effects on an individual's quality of life, both in everyday activities and in productivity in work,” Thomas Chester, OD, from the Cleveland Eye Clinic wrote. “Finding an adequate treatment to alleviate patient signs and symptoms is vital to caring for those with dry eye disease.”
Chester conducted a retroactive analysis of data from a Standardized Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) questionnaire and a meibomian gland express (MGE) score for each eye. The single-center study assessed patients before TearCare treatment and 8 to 12 weeks after treatment. The study included 92 participants, 78.3% of whom were female. The median age was 62.3 years.
In the study, Chester evaluated the efficacy of the TearCare system (Sight Sciences), which uses four SmartLid devices to deliver thermal energy across the eyelid to melt meibum buildup, in combination with manual liquified meibum removal to improve dry eye disease resulting from meibomian gland disease.
Results from the SPEED questionnaires after treatment showed a significant improvement in patient responses, Chester wrote. The total median of SPEED scores decreased from 16 to 9, suggesting that the patients’ symptoms of dry eye disease were less frequent and less severe.
Chester also observed an improvement in MGE scores. Participant scores increased from 5 to 9 for the right eye and from 4 to 9 for the left eye after one TearCare treatment. These improvements are possibly due to “an increase in the number of functional meibomian glands,” Chester wrote.
The study has some limitations such as the advanced age of most participants, making a comparison with younger patients difficult to conclude. The study used a convenience sample and lacked a priori sample analysis, suggesting the study is “preliminary in nature,” Chester wrote.
“Addressing meibomian gland disease is particularly important today because of modern lifestyles that frequently depend on spending extended amounts of time viewing electronic devices, where blinking rates are reduced,” Chester said.