Should You Use Autologous Serum Drops for Dry Eye Relief.?
Many of our dry eye patients are on autologous serum drops and still have severe chronic dry eye symptoms. This is because treating dry eyes from the surface is insufficient for chronic dry eye relief because the tear secretion glands are under active after repeated inflammation which causes cellular functions to be suppressed
Read on, TheraLife can help- Revive your own natural tears now!
The use of autologous serum (AS) for treating ocular surface disorders dates back to at least the 1970s when it was used via a mobile ocular perfusion pump to treat ocular alkali burns.1 AS was described as a tear substitute in 1984 in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism2 . The use of AS for the treatment of ocular surface disorders did not gain popularity until the late 1990s.3 The most common uses include the treatment of dry eyes4. AS has also been suggested to treat neurotrophic keratopathy- a recurrent corneal erosion6 and superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the superior bulbar conjunctiva).
Aotologous Serum for Dry Eye
One of the aplications for AS is for severe dry eyes. The reason being artificial tears lack essential tear components such as growth factors, vitamins, and immunoglobulins.8 Human serum contains substances such as epidermal growth factor, vitamin A, fibronectin and cytokines normally found in tears. These factors are important for maintaining a healthy corneal and conjunctival epithelium.10
Drawbacks of Serum Eye Drops Treatment
The drawbacks include:
1. Infections - Since AS preparation is a body fluid, it is able to transmit infections.11 This includes viral infections such as hepatitis B and C , HIV (AIDS).
2. Cost - Frequent blood extractions from the patient requiring prolonged treatment. Patients who need to use AS eye drops for an extended period of time will need to provide blood samples at least every three months. AS eye drop therapy can be expensive. Daily cost could be 45-10 dollars. Patients generally have to pay out-of-pocket for the AS eye drops because the majority of insurance carriers do not cover this treatment.
3. Microbial Infections - AS contains no preservatives, which avoids the risk of preservative toxicity, however there is a potential risk of inducing infections because of microbial contamination of the dropper bottle.4
Autologous serum drops can be helpful. However, when autologous serum, puntal plugs and prescription eye drops do not work. Look to TheraLife for help.
Why TheraLife Eye?Prolonged inflammation resulted from chronic dry eyes shut down normal cellular functions of tear secretion glands. TheraLife revitalize the normal eye functions intracellularly to restore normal function. It is not an eye drops, it is a capsule.
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This article is abstracted from Optometric Management Sept, 2012.
1. Ralph RA, Doane MG, Dohlman CH. Clinical experience with a mobile ocular perfusion pump. Arch Ophthalmol 1975; 93 (10): 1039-1043.
2. Fox RI, Chan R, Michelson JB, et al. Beneficial effects of artificial tears made with autologous serum in patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Arthritis Rheum 1984; 27 (4): 459-461.
3. Jeng BH. Use of autologous serum in the treatment of ocular surface disorders. Arch Ophthalmol 2011; 129 (12): 1610-1612.
4. Lee GA, Chen SX. Autologous serum in the management of recalcitrant dry eye syndrome. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol 2008; 36 (2): 119-122.
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7. Goto E, Shimmura S, Shimazaki J, et al. Treatment of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis by application of autologous serum. Cornea 2001; 20 (8): 807-810.
8. Quinto GG, Campos M, Behrens A. Autologous serum for ocular surface diseases. Arq Bras Oftalmol 2008; 71 (6 Suppl): 47-54.
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11. Geerling G, Maclennan S, Hartwig D. Autologous serum eye drops for ocular surface disorders. Br J Ophthalmol 2004 (88): 1467-1474.
12. Weisbach V, DietrichT, Kruse FE, et al. HIV and hepatitis B/C infections in patients donating blood for use as autologous serum eye drops. Br J Ophthalmol 2007; 91 (12): 1724-1725.
13. Eberle J, Habermann J, Gurtler IG. HIV-1 infection transmitted by serum droplets into the eye: a case report. AIDS 2000; 14: 206-207.