CHICAGO - Bill Casey always keeps his hands busy.
"I like to work around the house a little bit, always getting into something," Casey shared.
But he couldn't find relief for his dry eye disease, and it could sometimes make his work environment uncomfortable.
"I'm an airline pilot, so oftentimes, the cockpit environment is a little drier," Casey said. "In the environment that we're at, we want to have the best vision possible."
If left untreated, it can make your eyes more susceptible to infections and have poorer outcomes after eye surgeries.
"They'll continue to go from mild stage to moderate stage to severe stage where they lose the glands completely," said Dr. Mitchell Jackson, the founder and CEO of Jacksoneye. "Then, they become so symptomatic later that there are no treatments for them anymore."
Now, a new device is helping dry eye suffers find relief when eye drops don't work. It's called TearCare, and it's a wearable thermal device that goes over the eye lids.
"It heats up the oil glands to an optimized temperature, and then we actually express the glands and they become unobstructed," Jackson explained.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes plus preparation time, and patients can feel the effects right away.
"Before the dry eye treatment, I was probably lubricating up to maybe 10 times a day, and after the treatment, maybe once or twice," Casey shared.
The effects of TearCare usually last for about a year, so patients will have to get repeat treatments.
TearCare is not currently covered by insurance, and one session costs about $700.