Category Archives: dry eye syndrome

New Dry Eye Medication in Late Clinical Trials

Dry eyeInspire Pharmaceuticals announced that it has enrolled 450 patients in phase 3 of a clinical study that will compare the effectiveness of a new prescription medication in the treatment of dry eye syndrome.  At this time it is expected that the new medication, diquafosol tetrasodium ophthalmic solution 2%, will be marketed under the trade name, Prolacria.  Now that enrollment for phase three of the clinical trials has completed Inspire Pharmaceuticals expects to have results available in the first quarter of 2010.  The clinical trial will compare Prolacria with a placebo over a 6 week period.

This is great news for our patients that suffer from dry eye syndrome.  Rest assured that as soon as it is available we will let all of our readers know.

This great image of the dry eye is courtesy of Flicker user Sadisto’s, CC.

A New Dry Eye Medication Under Development

Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals announced promising results for patients that suffer from dry eye syndrome during Phase 2 of a new class of anti-inflammatory medications.  RX-10045, as it is now called, is a resolvin compound administered as an eye drop. In a 28 day study patients reported improved symptoms and the doctors reported a statistically significant improvement in the patients dry eyes.  The entire press release is available on the Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals website.  This is great news for patients that suffer from dry eyes.  This is one of many medications on the horizon for the pharmaceutical treatment of dry eyes.

Patients and Doctors at Total Eye Care Discuss Dry Eye Syndrome

Seeing patients with complications related to dry eye syndrome are a very common occurrence at Total Eye Care.  Last month we made this video about dry eye syndrome.  The video discusses how silicone punctal plugs are used to treat dry eye syndrome.  It ties in well with this post on the Eye Doc Blog a few months ago about what causes  dry eye syndrome.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

A New Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome Will Soon be Available

I have mentioned to many of our dry eye patients that a cream with testosterone was being researched and would give us another avenue of relief for our patients.  Argentis has licensed a testosterone-progesterone therapy for dry eye syndrome.  Argentis is licensing this compound from the Southern College of Optometry. I expect this compound to be very helpful for patients with dry eyes and look forward to prescribing it for our patients.  It is not available for us to prescribe yet, however we will update this entry as soon as it is.

Treating Dry Eyes with Punctal Plugs: Silicone Plugs vs the SmartPLUG®

Are you sensitive to light? Do your eyes often feel gritty? Does your vision fluctuate? Does blinking improve your vision? Do you use artificial tear more than 3 times a day? Find your contact lenses uncomfortable?Graphic of Odyssey Silicone Punctal Plug for the treatment of dry eye syndrome These are just a few of the most common symptoms we hear when patients tell us their eyes feel dry and irritated. Dry eye syndrome is very common, especially in women. Treatment of dry eye syndrome is very beneficial with very little risk of complications. Punctal occlusion with silicone plugs is one of the most common modes of treatment.

We often use punctal plugs to increase the amount of tears present in a patient’s eyes. A recent study compared the two most common types of punctal plugs, silicone punctal plugs and the SmartPLUG®. Essentially the study found that they both were relatively equally effective in reducing a patient’s symptoms (over 55% of the patients reduced the use of artificial tears). The study evaluated only 36 eyes for less than 12 weeks which really was not enough patients over too little time. However, one would likely expect that as long as the punctal plugs remained in the eyes the patients would continue to do well. The study does show that treatment of dry eye syndrome with punctal plugs is an effective solution.

Interestingly, 33% of the eyes treated had a plug fall out during the 12 weeks, which is very high. In our practice we see approximately 5% of our patients per year lose a plug, a rate much more in line with other ophthalmic practices. A 33% loss makes me want to look for a problem with punctal plug sizes.

We use both types of punctal plugs used in the study, silicone plugs (made out of a rigid type of silicone) and the SmartPLUG® (made out of a thermodynamic gel). We find both to be very effective and helpful in different situations. I like the silicone plugs for most patients, it is easy to insert and verify that it is still in place doing its job. The SmartPLUG® is helpful in patients that find the silicone plugs irritating.

If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eyes see your eye doctor and get some help. There are numerous treatments available, which we will cover in another article. At a minimum, patients typically note a significant decrease in symptoms with treatment.

If you would like to read a summary of the article it’s available here “SmartPlug versus silicone punctal plug therapy for dry eye: a prospective randomized trial”.

UPDATE: Check out this video on treating Dry Eye Syndrome with punctal plugs at Total Eye Care.

Q: Why are my eyes so dry lately?

A: Many conditions can contribute to dry eyes, including both your health and your, environment. Are you near any ceiling fans or heaters? Does your car’s heater or air conditioner blow directly on your eyes? Some medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants and diuretics can also contribute to dryness. Hormone changes, such as those attributed to pregnancy or menopause may also be a factor. Some people have a condition called blepharitis, where their lids become dry and flaky, this too can contribute to dryness.Other people may be suffering with “Sjogren’s Syndrome”, which is an autoimmune disorder where the mucous membrane glands are attacked causing significant dryness and discomfort.

Your optometrist can evaluate the source of your dry eyes and initiate a treatment plan. Dry eye syndrome is very common and can be successfully treated. In addition to eye drops there are many new solutions for the treatment of dry eyes that don’t require the use of eye drops.