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Therapeutic Focus

Provide Patient Relief

Dry eye treatment is another service to add to your arsenal

In this Focus column, the author answers questions about a product, based on firsthand experience with it.

TearCare (Sight Sciences) is a thermal treatment for DED.
Photo courtesy of Sight Sciences

Please describe TearCare, and what makes it unique.

TearCare (Sight Sciences) is a customizable, thermal treatment for dry eye disease (DED) and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). The device is comprised of a SmartHub that controls the timing and temperature of adhesive patches (i.e. SmartLids) applied to the patient’s upper and lower lids. The SmartHub monitors the applicators to ensure appropriate heat is delivered to the patient. The device is unique because its “open eye” design allows the patient to read, look at his phone, etc., during the procedure.

For whom is it indicated?*

The treatment is indicated for patients with DED associated with MGD, which is approximately 86% of dry eye patients, reports a study in Cornea.

For whom is it contraindicated?*

Patients who have a silicone allergy (lid adhesive) should not use TearCare. Additionally, patients who have an active ocular infection or recent ocular surgery should not undergo the treatment until the infection has resolved, or they have completed their post-operative period.

What results can an O.D. expect?

Initial research shows practitioners should expect to see an increase in TBUT and an improvement in DED symptoms.

What benefits does TearCare provide to your practice?

Benefits include: mobility, little required doctor time and customization at gland expression. The device can move from room to room to maintain office efficiency. Regarding doctor-devoted time, the procedure is valuable because the expression of congested meibum is easily visualized behind the slit lamp. During expression, areas requiring additional attention can be identified and further expression can be performed.

How do you discuss it with your patient?

I may say: “This is an in-office option that can safely provide sustained, uniform heat to the lids, followed by doctor-driven removal of the obstructive oil that’s at the root of your DED symptoms. Once alleviated, you should begin to feel better over the first few days to a week. This treatment protocol may require continued use of artificial tears, medications and at-home lid hygiene, but I hope it decreases your dependency on some of the products.”

What follow-up procedure do you employ?

Typically, I set patient expectations about relief at the initial appointment, such as at the comprehensive eye health exam or at the medically driven appointment due to a DED complaint, and follow-up the day of the procedure. The patient returns to our practice for the treatment, which can be embedded in the existing patient schedule. Following treatment, I have the patient return to clinic at four weeks to assess comfort (via a DED survey compared to entry survey) and signs of DED (TBUT, staining).

What training, if any, is needed to utilize the product?

On-boarding is provided by Sight Sciences. The representative shows you the necessities to perform and be safe. The more user experience you have, the better it performs. OM

*See sightsciences.com for more information regarding indications and contraindications.