Q: What is TearCare?
A: TearCare is a procedure that addresses meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), the condition behind the majority of dry eye disease (DED) cases. The TearCare system directly applies carefully calibrated heat to the eyelids in a personalized, open-eye procedure in order to clear blockages associated with MGD in dry eye disease.
Q: What are the benefits of the procedure?
A: TearCare is an office-based procedure that addresses the underlying cause of dry eye Disease by facilitating better flow of natural oils that help keep tear film from evaporating faster. For years patients have been limited to prescription and over-the-counter eye drops that provide temporary relief, TearCare is a unique alternative for these dry eye patients.
Q: Will patients need to continue with prescription eye drops after the procedure?
A: At Beverly Hills Optometry, we have seen wonderful results with patients completing TearCare, with many decreasing their dependence and frequency of use with eye drops. That being said, each meibomian gland is as unique as each patient, meaning the results of TearCare can vary by patient.
Q: Where can TearCare be used?
A: TearCare is designed to be used by an eye care professional.
Q: How do you know it’s safe?
A: Two published pilot studies showed that TearCare is well-tolerated and an effective procedure for patients with MGD, with effects persisting for six to 12 months. A 140-patient randomized clinical trial at 10 sites across the United States that includes some of the country’s other preeminent ophthalmologists and optometrists is currently underway and has completed enrollment.
Q: How long does the TearCare procedure take?
A: The procedure commonly takes approximately 25-30 minutes.
Q: Is this procedure covered by insurance?
A: We are not aware of any insurance policy coverage at this time. The company is actively working on reimbursement.
Q: What is the out-of-pocket cost of the procedure to patients?
A: Typical procedures of this kind are around $1000 as a patient-pay procedure. This will vary by practice and location.
MGD/Dry Eye Disease
Q: What is dry eye disease?
A: Dry eye is a chronic and progressive multifactorial disease that significantly impacts the ocular surface health and in turn the quality of life. It is one of the most common reasons patients visit an eye care professional. Dry eye disease can have a significant impact on a person’s day-to-day activities, as the patients experience persistent stinging, scratching, burning and gritty sensations, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, watering of eye and eye fatigue. In later stages DED often cause ocular surface damage.
Q: Is there a specific type of dry eye that TearCare works best for?
A: The majority of dry eye cases are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is a result of clogged glands. TearCare is one of the most effective treatments to removes these clogs. Over-the-counter and prescription eye drops only address the symptoms of clogged glands and not the root cause.
Q: How many people are impacted by dry eye disease (DED)?
Dry eye disease is estimated to impact nearly 40 million Americans, and 86% of those diagnosed have some form of Meibomian Gland dysfunction.
Q: What causes dry eye?
A: DED occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes either because there is insufficient tear production or because of the poor quality of tears. The blockages in the oil secreting glands of the eyelids result into reduced secretion of protective layer of tears and lead to fast evaporation.
Q: What factors contribute to dry eye?
A: Aging, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, certain medications such as cold medicines, allergies, laser eye surgery, contact lens wear, dry and hot climate, smoke, prolonged screen time are few causes that can cause imbalance in tears and thus DED.
Q: Is its prevalence growing?
A: Clinicians say that the prevalence of dry eye disease is growing.
Q: What is the impact of dry eye disease?
A: Dry eye disease can impact ocular health and vision, affects daily activities such as reading and driving, and can lead to eye infections and eye damage. It also impacts the outcomes of a laser eye surgery or cataract surgery.