Serum Eye Drops (Autologous Eye Drops)
are special, compounded eye drops that are made by a
special compounding pharmacist using a patient’s own
serum. These drops are usually prescribed by physicians
for the relief of dry eyes or neurotrophic keratitis.
Dry eyes are the result of abnormally low tear production. Tears are made up of a variety of substances including water, natural oils and mucus like substances all which work together to maintain normal vision, keep the eye lubricated and most importantly to protect against infection. When lubrication decreases patients can experience irritation, burning, itching, strained or blurred vision, and ocular pain. Dry eye can also occur in patients that have graft vs. host disease (GVHD). This condition is a major complication of bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
Neurotrophic Keratosis (NK) is a degenerative condition that results in decreased corneal sensitivity and healing. This disorder usually increases a patient's risk for corneal injury. Patients suffering from NK often will have issues with tear production and often need treatment with eye lubricants. Although most commercially available, over-the-counter and prescription eye lubricants are helpful, most do not have the ability to match all of the benefits of natural tears.
Serum Eye Drops are made from a patient's blood plasma (serum) and because of this are considered to be non-allergenic. Serum is the fluid component of blood that remains after clotting. It is a semi-clear product that contains many factors that are found in regular tears such as Fibronectin, vitamin A, lysozyme, TGF-b and Epithelial growth factors. Most importantly these eye drops have been shown to have similar biological properties as a patient's own tears. In an independent study, autologous eye drops have been shown to be superior to conventional treatments.
Serum eye drops have also been used for other conditions such as superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis, Sjogren's syndrome, and Rheumatoid arthritis.
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