What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition that is due to a lack of tear production or moisture in the eyes. Some common symptoms of dry eyes include stinging and burning of the eyes, fluctuations in vision, redness and irritation, watery eyes, and the sensation of having something in your eyes. In very severe conditions, conventional approaches may not be enough to combat these symptoms and autologous serum eye drops may be recommended.
Conventional Treatments for Dry Eye
The most conventional form of treatment for dry eyes is commercially made artificial tears that can be found over the counter. These drops can be applied several times a day to lubricate the front surface of the eye. Thicker eye drops, such as gels or ointments, may also be recommended to provide a longer lasting effect. While these drops may help with mild dry eye, it may not be enough for patients with severe dry eyes.
What are autologous serum eye drops?
Autologous serum eye drops are eye drops that can be made from the patient’s own blood and plasma. The components in serum tears contain growth factors, nutrients and vitamins that are typically missing when the eye is very dry. These nutrients also promote the health of the cells on the ocular surface. Since they are produced from the patient’s own blood, these drops are inherently non-allergenic and do not cause an issue of burning or stinging upon instillation. These eye drops are created by drawing the patient’s blood and allowing the blood cells and serum to separate. This serum is then diluted with preservative-free saline and then packaged in individual containers. Because these eye drops are preservative-free, they should be stored in the freezer until use.
Other Uses for Autologous Serum Eye Drops
Some indications for autologous serum eye drops include patients with:
Limbal Stem-Cell Deficiency
Non-healing corneal epithelial defects
Autologous serum eye drops can be made the same day the blood is drawn at iSight Vision Care. If you suffer from severe dry eyes, please make an appointment to see if autologous serum tears are right for you!