Dry Eye Drugs
In the past, artificial tears were the best hope for dry eye disease patients. Artifical tears still have an important place for many patients. However, new and upcomming pharmaceutical agents are better equipping eye doctors to help patients with dry eye disease.
Several new drugs target the inflammation associated with dry eye disease.
Many drugs have allowed doctors to shift from providing artificial tear supplementation to treating the underlying disease processes like inflammation. Cyclosporine, in various formulations, is one drug that does this. Different formulations of cyclosporine, which are appropirate for different patients, are sold under the brand names, Restasis, Xiidra and Cequa. These medications can increase tear production and improve tear film stability and can even increase the density of the cells that are responsbile for secreting the components of health tear film..
Topical steriods can help dry eye patients. They are especially useful managing accute flare-ups that require fast relief. Eye doctors will need to closely monitor patients who are on topical steroids becase they can cause an unwanted increase in intra-ocular pressure, which could cause visisoin loss or cause cataracts.
Many effective artificial tears that cantain trehalos are available. Trehalose is a disaccharide iwth high water retention properties and is naturally found in plands an animal. It protects the cells of teh cornea from the harmful effects of drying out and tear hyperosmolarity by making cell membranes stronger and preventing the destriction of protiens when there is a lack of water. Studies have shown that artificial tears that contain trehalose improve dry eye disease signs and syptoms and even supress inflammation. Artificial tears that have both lubricating and anti-inflamatory properties include Refresh Optive Mega-3 and Thealoz Duo.