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Callahan Offering New Treatment for Dry Eye
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and Clinics recently began offering an innovative new treatment for dry eye called the Allergan TrueTear Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator, which temporarily increases tear production using electrical stimulation.
Dry eye is a complex disease that has no cure, and the average patient requires multiple treatments. Some patients only see symptom relief after trying multiple therapies such as lid hygiene, heat masks, thermal pulsation, topical anti-inflammatories, and amniotic membranes. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of dry eye can prevent damage that can lead to severe discomfort and vision problems later in life.
TrueTear is a non-invasive, nasal neurostimulation device that helps the body naturally produce tears through comfortable stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which activates the entire lacrimal functional unit. The handheld stimulator features daily disposable tips, which are inserted into the nasal cavity. This produces natural tears that contain meibum from the meibomian glands, aqueous from the lacrimal glands, and mucin from goblet cell degranulation.
The treatment may be used as frequently as needed, depending on specific needs for dry eye relief, and it empowers patients to manage any signs and symptoms of the condition. Neurostimulation is a medical technique used in other areas, such as pain control and movement disorders. Pacemakers and cochlear implants for hearing loss are two common examples of neurostimulation devices. However, the technology is new to eye care, says UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Ophthalmologist Priscilla Fowler, MD.
“We are very excited to be able to offer novel therapies for dry eye,” Dr. Fowler says. “This allows us to really tailor the therapy to the patient’s needs and lifestyle, and we feel we are achieving much greater success than ever before.” In Alabama, TrueTear is only available from Dr. Fowler at Callahan’s Dry Eye Clinic. The device was developed by a team of experts at Stanford University led by Michael Ackermann, PhD. It represents a new treatment class in eye care, as it is the first and only FDA-approved device that temporarily increases natural tear production in adult patients.