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New Treatment for Post-Menopausal Dry Eye Syndrome

Posted Oct 07 2013 5:31am

New clinical research supports treatment for post-menopausalAfter the menopause - technically only once a woman has had no menstrual period for one year. dry eye syndrome

More than half of peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women are estimated to suffer from dry eye syndrome. Although we are very familiar with tears when we laugh or cry,the eye is in fact always covered by a thin layer of liquid that is called the tear film. This lubricates the eyes protecting them from dirt and infectionInvasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites. and also helps to stabilise vision. Dry eye syndrome affects the quantity and quality of tears, causing the eyes to feel dry and irritated. Hormones are known to play an important part in tear production and the changes in hormoneA substance produced by a gland in one part of the body and carried by the blood to the organs or tissues where it has an effect. levels that occur during the menopauseThe time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle. probably explains why women become more susceptible to dry eye syndrome as they age. This often has a significant impact on quality of life.

The findings of new clinical research published in the October issue of Cornea show that daily dietary supplementation with a unique combination of omega fatty acids (called HydroEye® ) for six months is effective in improving ocular irritation symptoms and halting the progression of inflammationThe body’s response to injury. that characterises moderate to severe dry eye.

The multi-center, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated 38 post-menopausal women with tear dysfunction in both eyes. HydroEye® was found to improve ocular irritation symptoms, suppress ocular surface inflammation, and maintain corneal surface smoothness. An irregular corneal surface contributes to both irritation and problematic visualRelating to the sense of sight (vision). symptoms.

The trial was conducted at Baylor College of Medicine and Virginia Eye Consultants. Professor of Ophthalmology Stephen C. Pflugfelder said “"Within three months, the group treated with HydroEye showed statistically significant improvements in the irritation symptoms of dry eye, and no progression of ocular surface inflammation or corneal irregularity. The placebo group's dry eye symptoms actually worsened over the six-month testing period" said Pflugfelder. "HydroEye clearly had a positive impact on these patients with moderate to severe dry eye."

While there are other dry eye treatment options available, most have unpleasant side effects, provide only transient relief, or have high costs, and/or compliance issues.

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