As Cases of Dry Eye Disease Soar or Go Undiagnosed, ThermaMEDx Medical Team Seeks to Treat Underlying Cause, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (mgD); Educate Consumers on Widespread Eye Health Issue
With tens of millions of Americans suffering from dry eye disease (sometimes called dry eye syndrome), July’s National Dry Eye Awareness Month aims to shine a spotlight on this rapidly growing modern-medical issue – from helping consumers to identify it, properly treat it at its source and keep it at bay.
In a post-pandemic climate where overall screen time for adults increased to an average of seven or more hours daily, digital eye strain has led to diminished eye health and more patients visiting their eye care professionals for solutions for many issues, primarily caused by dry eyes.
A medical team of eye health experts led by UK-based Dr. Michel Guillon spent decades developing treatments that focus on the root cause of most dry eye cases: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
“For decades, the eyecare industry believed that dry eye symptoms were caused by poor tear production, but we now know that is incorrect for most patients. The problem lies in the meibomian glands, the oil-producing glands in your eyelids,” said Dr. Guillon, Co-Founder of ThermaMEDx, based in Atlanta. “MGD is a chronic, progressive disease that many people don’t even realize they have until the symptoms become unbearable. It occurs when the meibomian glands in the eyelids become clogged due to factors such as aging, contact lens use, makeup use, excess screen time, hormonal changes and other risk factors.”
He continued: “If left untreated, MGD can progress from daily discomfort and intermittent blurry vision to become somewhat disabling. Patients just assume they aren’t producing enough tears, when 86% of dry eye cases are actually related to the meibomian gland.”
Fueled by Dr. Guillon’s vision and passion for creating a clinically proven at-home treatment for dry eye, the ThermaMEDx team developed patented medical devices that utilize thermal technology to provide an effective treatment designed to address MGD. EverTears® was launched last year as a solution for unblocking eyelid glands and restoring moisture to the eyes and is currently FDA registered as a Class I OTC medical device.
Look For the Signs. Ironically, having watery eyes (particularly in wind or around fans) is one of the body’s main responses to dry eyes related to MGD. Other symptoms include a stinging, burning, or scratchy/gritty sensation in eyes; the feeling of ‘something in your eye,’ sensitivity to light, eye redness, discomfort wearing contact lenses and blurry vision.
Female Factor. Women are twice as likely to suffer from dry eye syndrome, so for females who experience watery eyes and irritation, the likelihood the root cause is MGD is high.
Barely Blinking. More time spent staring at screens texting, streaming and emailing dramatically reduces how often humans blink, so eyes aren’t getting the vital protective oils and fluids that come with every blink. That leads to drier eyes and the subsequent issues that accompany them.
Contact Lenses. People who wear contact lenses are more likely to have issues with dry eyes related to MGD.
Cosmetic Factors. Age, hormonal changes and makeup use can contribute to the likelihood of dry eye.
Underlying Medical Conditions. Certain medical conditions including high cholesterol and triglycerides; bacterial infections; autoimmune conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and rosacea; allergic conjunctivitis and damaged or inflamed corneas are all risk factors that make a patient more susceptible to dry eyes.
Ditch the Drops. Many with dry eye disease turn to artificial tears or drops to combat symptoms, which can lead to a dependence on drops that provide temporary relief but don’t treat the underlying issue. “Our research revealed a perception among MGD patients that OTC chemical eye drops, and lubricants are the best option. While these products provide temporary relief, there is little clinical evidence that OTC “artificial tears” effectively address the underlying issues of MGD,” said Carl Sweat, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at ThermaMEDx. “Our team is committed to dislodging the misperceptions about “artificial tears” when it comes to dry eyes caused by to MGD.”
Practice Daily Eyelid Hygiene. Applying moist, warm heat at the precise temperature and keeping eyelids clean is key to restoring oil flow in the meibomian glands. This allows you to retain your eyes’ natural moisture, reducing dry eye symptoms naturally and sustainably rather than relying on OTC “artificial tears” which have not been shown to address MGD.
MEDIA NOTE: ThermaMEDx co-founders and medical team members including Dr. Marguerite McDonald, known for her pioneering work as the first surgeon in the world to conduct laser refractive surgery, are available via phone, Zoom or in-studio (for New York-based programs) to discuss Dry Eye Awareness Month.
For more information, please visit www.thermamedx.com.
Partnering with the top scientists and eyecare professionals in the world, ThermaMEDx works to create positive disruption to the status quo by bringing affordable solutions that provide sustained relief from dry eyes related to MGD. This convenient solution comes individually wrapped so consumers can use EverTears® easily at home, work, or on-the-go. It treats the problem at its source with a combination of heating and cleaning. The moist warm compress delivers precise heat exactly where needed, opening pores and meibomian glands to deliver the oils tear film needs. After heating each eyelid for two minutes, patients use the cloth-covered device as a sterile cleaning pad to clear away any potential blockage to the meibomian glands for instant dry eye relief. For more information, please visit www.thermamedx.com.