Dry Eye: A New Road to Relief
Dietary supplements emerge as a treatment option.
BY OPHTHALMOLOGY MANAGEMENT STAFF
Dry eye is a condition that permeates each and every ophthalmology practice. It's widespread among patients and, as you know, depending on duration and severity, it increases the risk of ocular surface damage and infection. It compromises refractive surgery outcomes, thwarts contact lens wearers and compounds computer vision syndrome.
To bring their patients relief, an increasing number of doctors are looking into dry-eye-fighting dietary supplements and finding that they're happy with the results.
For more information on
TheraLife Eye and TheraLife Enhancer, call (877) 917-1989
or visit www.theralife.com.
GOOD RESULTS SO FAR
One of the new products in this category is TheraLife Eye, which is a unique combination of nutrients and photochemicals. (See "Active Ingredients".) Taken with TheraLife Enhancer capsules, which stimulate blood flow to the affected area, its mechanism of action is thought to be increasing intracellular metabolism, membrane permeability and blood microcirculation, thereby increasing therapeutic drug absorption and minimizing side effects.
The safety and efficacy of TheraLife Eye was recently evaluated through a six-site, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial in 83 subjects with mild to moderate dry eyes. Objective measures (tear break-up time, Zone Quick test, corneal staining, Rose Bengal) and subjective measures (dry, red, sandy, gritty, tired, blurred vision, excessive blinking, contact lens and overall discomfort) were used to assess outcomes. (See "Six-Site Trial Results".)
Results indicated that patients in the treatment group experienced greater dry eye relief than the placebo group. They produced more tears, as indicated by the increase in tear volume with the Zone Quick test. They also had increased tear viscosity, as indicated by tear break-up time. Both investigators and patients indicated improvements in subjective factors. There were no significant systemic adverse safety findings.
Patients can begin using TheraEye by taking either one or two capsules per day along with the Enhancer. Most respond in 1 to 3 days. From that point, they usually can discontinue the Enhancer and prevent the recurrence of symptoms by taking one or two TheraEye capsules per day. Doctors whose patients use the capsules have said that the patients appreciate feeling sustained relief of their symptoms rather than having to instill artificial tears multiple times per day.
MORE STUDIES UNDER WAY
Additional studies of the role of TheraLife Eye plus Enhancer for post-refractive surgery healing and glare sensitivity are under review. Other ongoing studies are evaluating its role in antiangiogenesis, restenosis and rheology. They may indicate that the formulation will have applications in treating other ocular disorders. In fact, the company says, if the studies involving macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy prove positive, it's reasonable to speculate that crossing of the blood/retinal barrier has occurred.
In the meantime, the capsules are one more option you can consider in your efforts to eliminate dry eyes in your practice.
TheraLife Eye contains:
Other Options for Your Patients
Hydrate Essential from Cynacon/OcuSoft combines the company's liposome technology with peer-reviewed ingredients to target dry eyes.
It contains essential fatty acids -- including flaxseed oil -- and bilberry extract, all of which are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Many reports have linked flaxseed oil to increased comfort when used to manage dry eye. The ingredients are microencapsulated in hydroxylated lecithin, which improves absorption and sustained release activity for better bioavailability.
HydroEye from ScienceBased Health is a blend of omega fatty acids and other key nutrients that provide the body with the building blocks it needs to produce a healthy tear film. It's recommended to dry eye patients by several thousand ophthalmologists and other eyecare practitioners, who have found that it helps to reduce or eliminate dry eye symptoms in 2 to 6 weeks. HydroEye has been reported to increase levels of lactoferrin (an indicator of ocular surface health) by a mean of 40% in pre-LASIK patients. It offers long-lasting relief with continued use.