TearCare allows the eyes of patients with meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye or blepharitis to remain open and blinking during the procedure, the company said in a press release.
Kristopher May, OD, FAAO , owner of Coldwater Vision Center, told Primary Care Optometry News that he immediately saw positive outcomes once he began using the device in his practice in early 2019.
He noted that patients are relaxed during the warming and that meibomian gland expression takes only a few minutes.
“None of my patients complained about discomfort, required the procedure to be aborted or even requested the temperature to be reduced,” May said. “It should be noted that some patients take longer to express than others depending of the severity of their stasis; we learned that slow expression seemed to be better than trying to be forceful.”
He said that he incorporated the procedure easily into his clinic flow, it has no learning curve, and “there is not a significant amount of equipment or office space that has to be dedicated.”
May has seen positive outcomes in every patient treated.
“One of my patient’s Ocular Surface Disease Index score was in the upper 80s pretreatment and dropped to lower 30s at follow-up,” he said.
“It is important to educate patients that TearCare is not a cure, but an advanced treatment that can bring them long-term relief,” May said. “As a practitioner, having a tool that can bring a patient months of symptom relief is truly exciting and a revelation in management.”
He added: “The ability to be able to provide patients with adjunct or alternative treatment to drop therapies is key to long-term success for both the patient and the practice. In the past, in-office devices required large capital outlays as well as significant training and implementation hurdles. TearCare brings these procedures to the masses. Any practice can add the system into their workflow and bring innovation to their patients.”
Whitney Hauser, OD, told PCON that when she first started using the device in her practice 9 months ago, she was involved with the whole process.
"The more I used the TearCare system, the more I realized I could rely on my experienced staff to initiate the procedure, and I could return at the appropriate time for the expression," she said. "We developed a rhythm with the procedure, and it became very efficient."
Hauser said that these patients typically return in 4 to 6 weeks, "and almost all of them find significant improvement post-treatment in both signs and symptoms. We follow patients with a dry eye survey, and we’ve seen survey scores drop using TearCare as well as improvements at the slit lamp." – by Scott Buzby
Disclosure: Hauser reports she is an advisory board member for Sight Sciences. May reports no relevant financial disclosures.
Editor's note: This article was updated to include comments from Hauser.