In the past, patients dealing with Dry Eye had to rely on artificial tears and eyedrops to relieve their symptoms. Often, these patients also found some relief by applying warm compresses to the eyes. This same principle is now used in TearCare, a technologically advanced procedure which uses thermal energy to reduce Dry Eye symptoms and provide relief from itching, vision issues, and irritation. Dr. Patel offers this procedure to patients.
TearCare is a procedure designed to treat Dry Eye by unblocking the meibomian glands within the eyes. Meibomian glands are located in the eyelids and produce oils that are necessary for healthy tears. However, these glands can become blocked, causing tears to evaporate more quickly or be otherwise ineffective. TearCare unblocks these glands, improving the quality of tears overall and relieving Dry Eye symptoms.
TearCare works by delivering consistent, gentle heat to the eyelids through SmartLids applicators, which are designed to fit closely to the lid for a wide range of patients no matter their eye shape or size. Throughout the procedure, patients are comfortable and able to blink freely.
Dry Eye is caused by a lack of effective tears, commonly as a result of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Tears are composed of a mucus layer, aqueous or watery layer, and a lipid or oily layer. An imbalance of these three layers results in negative effects in both vision and comfort.
The Meibomian glands are responsible for oil production, but may become blocked. Insufficient oil within tears causes them to evaporate too quickly, resulting in Dry Eye. Common Dry Eye symptoms include:
- Itchiness, dryness, or a gritty sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Visual fluctuation
- Watery eyes
Most patients who are suffering from Dry Eye due to blockage in the Meibomian glands make good candidates for the TearCare procedure. Before you move forward with TearCare, Dr. Patel will evaluate your eyes to best understand your symptoms and confirm that you are dealing with Dry Eye. Before your procedure, you should also be over the age of 18, in generally good health, and have no other eye diseases or eye injuries. Dr. Patel will determine if you’re a good candidate for TearCare after a thorough evaluation and consultation.