PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dry eyes is an issue for a growing number of people, but there’s now a high-tech solution that’s been successfully used by a Philadelphia doctor at Penn Hospital Medicine’s Scheie Eye Institute. The simple solution of using eye drops to treat dry eyes isn’t always effective.
There is now an FDA-approved device that does the trick with a quick zap.
It might look a little strange, but the device has dramatically improved Jackie Sosa’s life.
“It’s a fantastic invention,” Sosa said.
The device is called True Tear – to treat dry eyes.
“It’s a huge problem, probably 30 million Americans are affected by dry eye,” Dr. Mina Massaro-Giordano said. “Patients can have a myriad of symptoms that they can experience. They experience blurry vision, they can experience itching. They can experience irritation, light sensitivity.”
Massaro-Giordano says more people are struggling with dry eyes because of excessive screen time, but it can be caused by a number of things.
Just being outside with her dog did it for Sosa.
“Achy. Your eyes are screaming in pain, all you want to do is close them,” Sosa said. “It’s that bad.”
Sosa says her eyes were always red and irritated.
When eye drops, the standard treatment, didn’t work, she decided to try True Tear.
“It’s an innovative device because it allows you to get tears without drops or without any type of medication,” Massaro-Giordano said.
She says the device works with two prongs that deliver an electrical stimulation inside the top of the nose.
“That nerve that’s in the nose, it sends a signal to the brain,” Massaro-Giordano said, “and then the brain sends a signal to the lacrimal glands to make more fluid.”
Tears that are made from water, mucus and oil create a protective film over the eye.
“You can feel tears form and your eyes feeling better,” Sosa said.
Sosa says it took a little time to get used to the device that she uses a couple of times each day.
“A stimulation, it’s a pulsing feeling inside the actual nose,” Sosa said. “You feel the sensation and pulsing of the device. There’s no irritation, no achiness. I just think it’s incredible that this little device does that.”
Sosa’s only complaint? True Tear costs $1,000 and isn’t covered by insurance.