Dry Eye Disease Symptoms Relieved With Thermomechanical Treatment

Red irritated human eye close up, allergy symptom
Red irritated human eye close up, allergy symptom
Investigators assess changes in dry eye parameters following 3 thermomechanical device treatments to assess its efficacy in managing dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction.

Thermomechanical device treatment may significantly improve the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED) secondary to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), according to research published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. 

Researchers enrolled 40 patients (eyes, 80; mean age, 64.3±12.4 years; 72.5% women) with DED secondary to MGD in the analysis. Patients attended a total of 5 visits, each separated by a 2-week period. Thermomechanical treatments were administered during the first 3 visits, and the final 2 follow-ups were strictly clinical. Investigators recorded tear breakup time (TBUT), MGD score, corneal staining score (CSS), and artificial tear usage, and administered the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness II (SPEED II) assessment during all visits. Visual acuity (VA) was measured during the first and final visits.    

Overall, 45% of patients presented with blepharitis, 12.5% had chalazia, and 17.5% had allergic conjunctivitis at baseline.

A comparison between initial and final visits revealed improvements in SPEED II scores (16.5±5.9 to 11.8±6.7), CSS (2.0±1.3 to 0.5±0.9), TBUT (2.7±0.8 to 6.5±2.2 seconds), MGD score (2.7±0.5 to 1.2±0.4), and decreases in the use of ocular lubricants (3.4±2.4 to 1.9±2.0 times per day)(P <.001 for all). VA improved slightly, but significantly from 0.10±0.11 to 0.08±0.10 logMAR (P <.05).

Only 2 patients reported adverse effects during the study duration which included excessive tearing for 24 hours following treatment and a mild burning sensation lasting for 2 days.  

The researchers assert that thermomechanical treatment “may be beneficial to patients with DED and MGD,” and that it “had a significant positive effect on DED signs and symptoms in patients with MGD, during a period of 10 weeks’ follow-up.” The device shows promise in DED and MGD management, according to the report. 

Study limitations include a short study duration, an unmasked examiner, and the lack of a control group.  


Safir M, Hecht I, Ahimor A, et al. The effect of thermo-mechanical device (Tixel) treatment on evaporative dry eye disease – a pilot prospective clinical trial. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. Published online July 18, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2022.101741