ExpressTears, the Industry’s First At-Home Tool for Meibomian Gland Expression

Nov 30, 2020

For patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and other conditions that are characterized by poor or low tear production, successful treatment hinges on proper meibomian gland function. Without the oil it produces (meibum), tears will evaporate too quickly, and a patients’ eyes will remain dry and uncomfortable.

Lunovus’ commitment to developing quality products to meet the unique needs of doctors and patients brought us to a new partnership, a new invention, and a study that showed the effectiveness of ExpressTears — a new meibomian gland expression tool that will transform your patients’ dry eye treatment.

Patients With MGD Need An At-Home Solution

A large part of MGD treatment has involved a patient visiting their doctor’s office to receive stimulation and expression of the meibomian glands in order to induce oil secretion that ultimately normalizes tear evaporation. Many of these treatments — like Mibo Thermaflo and LipiFlow — are performed using specialized equipment in a doctor’s office.

However, it’s unrealistic to expect patients to visit their doctor as frequently as needed to prevent MGD from worsening, and at-home remedies were limited to options such as applying a warm compress over the eyes, which didn’t produce optimal results.

In response, Lunovus teamed up with Miles Ashley, O.D., an optometrist in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Dr. Ashley frequently provided MGD treatments in his practice for his patients with dry eye, only to see these treatments not work as well as they should when patients couldn’t keep up with an unrealistically frequent appointment schedule.

“We see a lot of patients with mild-to-moderate cases of MGD,” said Dr. Ashley. “And while thermal pulsation procedures like LipiFlow are effective in-office treatments, I’ve always felt limited with options to recommend to my patients for at-home use outside of a basic warm compress.”


Combining his expertise with the resources at Lunovus, Dr. Ashley worked to develop a first-of-its-kind at-home meibomian gland expression tool, ExpressTears. It’s a small handheld device on which you can apply disposable pads and an antibacterial eyelid cleanser prior to use.


  1. Apply a foam pad to the top of the ExpressTears tool and run under warm water. Then apply an antibacterial eyelid cleanser, such as Blephadex foam.
  2. With closed eyes, gently brush the eyelashes side to side.
  3. Run the pad under warm water again, and gently apply pressure to the lower eyelid. Push up and down slowly to express the meibomian gland. Discard used padding when finished.

This is very fast and easy 3-step process that the patients can feel confident performing themselves from the comfort of their own home without the supervision of a medical professional. The question then became, could we measure the results of daily ExpressTears use?

Studying and Highlighting the Effectiveness of ExpressTears

Dr. Ashley conducted a pilot study [1] on the effectiveness of ExpressTears in at-home treatment. Patients used ExpressTears every night for a month and key indicators like tear breakup time (TBUT), sodium fluorescein corneal staining, and meibomian gland expression (MGD) scores were measured before, during, and after the trial.

After two weeks alone, every one of those measures was trending in a positive direction, and after four weeks the results were even better. The average TBUT improved by over 50%, corneal staining improved on average by nearly 60%, and the average MGD score improved by nearly 50%.

ExpressTears Secreting Meibum Onto Surface of Eye

“What we learned during the pilot study is that ExpressTears not only warms and softens the clogged meibum, it effectively evacuates the oil onto the surface of the tear film, which you’re unable to do with a warm eye compress,” explained Dr. Ashley.

What this shows is that a home treatment program from ExpressTears is demonstrably better than simply applying a warm compress, and a viable complement to in-office gland expression procedures.

The development of ExpressTears is another exhibit of our commitment to providing solutions to the unique needs of both doctors and patients. For more information on how you can bring ExpressTears to your patients and see improvement on their MGD and dry eye symptoms, call today at 205-407-1075 or click below.

729 1st Ave. N
Birmingham, AL 35203



*This statement has not yet been evaluated by the FDA
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disesase