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Dry Eye Syndrome Update

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

I hear an increasing number of complaints of dry eye syndrome these days. With the increased use of electronic devices for extended hours the number of patients with dry eyes has surged.

Thank goodness there is also more recognition of dry eye syndrome these days and many new treatments available. We specialize in dry eye syndrome and would be happy to assess you and go through the treatment options available if needed. Please call us at 703-528-3910 or reach out to us through our contact page if you would like to schedule a consultation.

Below is an excellent summary of dry eye syndrome and new medications available this year from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Improved Dry Eye Drugs for 2022 and Beyond

By Reena Mukamal Reviewed By Christopher E Starr MD Nov. 04, 2021

Few new treatment options have been introduced for dry eye disease, despite the fact that it’s one of the most universal and uncomfortable eye conditions. That’s one reason why nearly half of the 16 million Americans diagnosed with dry eye feel frustrated, according to a recent survey. Dry eye is an ocular surface disease (OSD) Dry eye is one of the most common ocular surface diseases, or OSDs. There are about a half-dozen OSDs, and each disease has a unique underlying cause — that's why one treatment doesn't work for everyone. Diagnosing and treating OSD can be tricky and time consuming. Patients usually need a combination of therapies, plus lifestyle changes, to bring effective and lasting relief. But often the treatments don't work right away or they sting, burn or irritate the eyes. That's why many patients stop taking their dry eye medication. “These side effects can be magnified in eyes already inflamed by an ocular surface disease like dry eye,” explains ophthalmologist and Academy spokesperson Christopher Starr, MD, a dry eye specialist at Weill Cornell Medical Center. New dry eye treatments may be more effective than existing ones For patients frustrated with their current treatment options, hope is on the horizon. Innovative drugs for OSDs of all kinds — including dry eye — are showing promise in clinical trials. Ophthalmologists are excited and optimistic about expanding their arsenal of treatment tools. Here's a rundown on what's currently available and what patients can look forward to in the next few years. Existing treatments for dry eye Current treatments for ocular surface disease include lifestyle changes, a nasal spray, punctual plugs, anti-inflammatory medications, deep-cleaning devices and specialized contact lenses. There are five FDA-approved prescription medications available today:

  • Tyrvaya (Oyster Point) — This much-anticipated nasal spray for dry eye was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2021. The spray, a first of its kind treatment, stimulates tear, oil and mucin production. This nasal spray may be easier to apply than eye drops and it eliminates undesirable ocular stinging and burning sensations.

  • Restasis (Allergan) and Cequa (Sun Ophthalmics) — These medicines were developed specifically for chronic dry eye where inflammation leads to reduced tear production. The active ingredient is cyclosporine. Patients take one drop in each eye two times per day. The treatment can take 3 to 6 months to begin working, and may cause temporary burning or discomfort.

  • Xiidra (Novartis) — This is a different type of anti-inflammatory drop that uses lifitegrast as the active ingredient. This medicine can take up to 3 months to relieve symptoms, and up to a quarter of patients experience irritation and an unusual taste sensation.

  • Eysuvis (Kala Pharmaceuticals) — This is the first ocular corticosteroid (loteprednol) approved by the FDA for treatment of dry eye flares. It can only be used for 2 weeks at a time, due to the side effects of steroids. Patients take four drops a day in each eye. Eysuvis works more quickly than immunomodulator-based medicines, and both may be used in conjunction to alleviate symptoms.

New treatments for dry eye target the underlying problems Underlying inflammation

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