TearCare Dry Eye Treatment

We at Chicago Eye Consultants are proud to be able to offer the TearCare System, one of the most advanced treatments for dry eyes. 

TearCare® is a 15-minute in-office procedure used to treat meibomian gland disorders. The sterile single-use flexible eyelid devices gently adhere to the contours of the patient’s eyelids and apply low heat. SmartLidTM technology works in conjunction with the blinking eye to facilitate natural meibum expression as the meibum melts. The TearCare® procedure is usually repeated every two years or every year. After TearCare®, we may prescribe a corticosteroid such as Inveltys or Lotemax SM for use twice per day.

What does TearCare treat?

TearCare System is FDA-approved for dry eye symptoms associated with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Our upper and lower eyelids are lined with meibomian glands which produce the oil layer on our tear film.  We cannot secrete this oil if our meibomian glands are blocked or clogged. When this vital lipid layer is missing from our tear film due to a blockage, our tears evaporate faster than normal, resulting in dry eye symptoms. Untreated Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) can become progressively worse.

What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is the most common cause of dry eyes. When you visit our dry eye specialists, they will evaluate the function of your Meibomian Glands in order to determine whether your dry eye is caused by MGD. Left untreated, MGD can lead to your glands atrophying and shrinking, which may lead to permanent dysfunction. For TearCare to be effective, there should be a sufficient number of meibomian glands present. As part of their eye care maintenance, TearCare patients should use artificial tears and warm compresses after treatment, much like how you would continue to floss and brush your teeth after a dental appointment.

How does it work?

show how tear care works

TearCare can be completed in the same amount of time as a typical office visit. In contrast to other dry eye treatments, TearCare allows you to keep your eyes open throughout the procedure. Treatment begins with an applicator being applied to the outer edges of the upper and lower eyelids. A constant, therapeutic heat will be applied through the applicators, which, combined with blinking, will help to unclog the glands. As part of your treatment, your doctor will express the meibomian glands to help remove blockages that can stimulate oil production, resulting in a healthier tear film and a reduction of dry eye symptoms.

Is TearCare treatment painful?

Patients report that they find TearCare to be comfortable and pain-free. The Meibomian Glands themselves can be restored to proper function by this treatment process. The patient’s eyes can become appropriately moist, relieving the challenging and even painful chronic dry eye condition.