Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a frequent, multifactorial pathology characterized by increased tear evaporation or deficient tear production that are associated with ocular surface alteration & inflammation. This mostly affects but is not exclusive to older individuals. This leads to varying degrees of discomfort & decreased quality of life for the patients. However, the effective treatment of DES relies on artificial tears, integrin antagonists, poly-saturated fatty acids, anti-inflammatory agents, or performing of punctual occlusion.
The most adopted dry eye treatments are discussed below:
The major functions of artificial tears are to increase the moisture level in your eyes and provide the required lubrication of the ocular surface. A variety of artificial tear formulations are available, and they differ in terms of osmolarity, electrolyte content, viscosity, solute combinations, and preservative contents. Artificial tears are presently formulated as Oso protectants that restore the cell volume, reduce inflammatory reactions, and decrease cell stress.
However, there is one limitation of artificial tears. This dry eye treatment lacks some of the components that natural tears have. These missing components are lipids, proteins, salts, and hydrocarbons. Also, certain growth factors like albumin, immunoglobulins and vitamins are missing. The artificial tears include certain preservatives and a few potentially allergenic and toxic compounds. Benzalkonium chloride, also referred to as BAK, is the mostly used preservative compound in these artificial tears’ eye drops that contribute to hyperosmolarity by disrupting the tear films.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
The polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFs are Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesized within the human body. When there is an improper balance of this component in the human body, then this may lead to an omega six pro-inflammatory effect. The dietary supplementation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids may help you manage the DES. In a randomized study, omega-3 supplementation promotes tear film stabilization and reduces tears’ evaporation. Thus, this method of dry eye treatment is often adopted by doctors.
Immunomodulators and Anti-inflammatory therapies
Corticosteroids are one of the best several anti-inflammatory drugs for treating dry eyes. In addition, it reduces cellular infiltration and restores vascular permeability. This inhibits chemotaxis. Corticosteroids decrease fibroblast proliferation and reduce the capillary dilation. This also suppresses collagen deposition.
The treatment of lacrimal punctual occlusion is the commonest non-pharmacological therapy when it comes to dry eye treatment. Although many experts suggest temporary occlusion with the help of the plugs and permanent occlusion can be achieved through surgical obstruction of the lacrimal punctum.
Dry eye syndrome is one of the commonest eye conditions that are caused due to various reasons, and the severity levels also differ from person to person. This brings in tremendous socioeconomic implications alongside reducing the quality of life considerably. There is a wide variety of medical procedures and products that are presently available or are being developed for the treatment of dry eye syndrome & every treatment type has its pros and cons. The emerging treatment options also include certain products derived from the whole blood like allogenic or autologous SED, PRGF, E-PRP and HPL.
To summarize, blood products are well-known for their benefits in dry eye treatment and relieving a variety of symptoms directly associated with dry eye syndrome. Several drugs and emerging blood products are presently being assessed for the presence of the key growth factors & also their overall effects that are weighed against the different potential risks. Before you opt for any of the dry eye treatment, it is best to consult an expert and take the necessary steps to treat the dry eye syndrome.