According to Jennifer Loh, MD, women achieve significantly better symptom relief than men.
One TearCare procedure (Sight Sciences, Inc) significantly reduced dry eye symptoms in adults with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and women experienced greater symptom reduction than men, according to Jennifer Loh, MD, who is in private practice in Miami, Florida. The TearCare System applies localized heat therapy in adults with evaporative dry eye disease resulting from MGD and is used in conjunction with manual expression of the meibomian glands.
Loh explained that the heat is activated by the system’s SmartHub hardware, and the system automatically and gradually increases the temperature over the course of 2 to 3 minutes to a maximal level of 45 °C; this temperature is constant for 15 minutes. The heat is delivered to the meibomian glands through 4 SmartLids that are attached to the outer eyelid surface. Following heat application, the clinician uses the TearCare Clearance Assistant to express each meibomian gland under direct visualization.
Loh outlined the post-hoc results of a prospective, multicenter, interventional clinical trial conducted at 10 sites in the United States. All participants were adults who had been diagnosed with dry eye disease resulting from MGD. Sixty-six eligible patients (49 women, 17 men; respective mean ages, 54.2 years and 62.5 years) underwent 1 TearCare procedure and were followed for 1 month.
The outcome measures were the mean change from baseline to 1 month in the mean tear break-up time, total meibomian gland secretion score, corneal and conjunctival staining scores, and the number of meibomian glands yielding any liquid and clear liquid. The dry eye disease symptoms were collected at baseline before the procedure and at 1 month after the procedure using the patient-administered Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, which assesses symptoms on a scale of 0 to 100.
Based on the OSDI score, the severity of the symptoms was classified as follows: normal (0-12), mild (13-22), moderate (23-32), and severe (33 or higher). Clinically relevant improvement after treatment was defined as a change in score of 7.3 or higher. Regarding severe disease at baseline, clinically relevant improvement was a change in the score of 13.4 or higher, Loh explained.
The mean changes in the OSDI from baseline to 1 month were 30.6 in women and 20.0 in men. Eighty percent of the women had a change in the OSDI of 1 or more category compared with 59% of the men (P = .03); 90% of the women had a clinically meaningful reduction in the OSDI compared with 71% of the men (P = .05).
The major takeaways from the study include the following:
More women had decreases in the OSDI score by at least by 1 category (ie, patients with severe symptoms improved significantly more, and they were categorized as having less severe disease).
One month after the TearCare procedure, more women were categorized with normal or mild disease as compared with men.
As reported by several studies, women tend to present with higher symptoms of dry eye disease, and they represent a higher percentage of the overall disease prevalence. It is important to show significant improvement in the gender that is more affected by dry eye disease due to MGD.
Jennifer Loh, MD
Loh is in private practice in Miami, Florida. She is a consultant and speaker for Sight Sciences, Inc, and received research support from Sight Sciences, Inc.