AAO: Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator Safe for Dry Eye

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AAO: Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator Safe for Dry Eye
AAO: Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator Safe for Dry Eye

(HealthDay News) -- An intranasal tear neurostimulator (ITN) is safe and effective for increasing tear production among individuals with dry eye, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held Nov. 11 to 14 in New Orleans.

Edward J. Holland, M.D., from the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues examined the safety and effectiveness of the ITN for increasing tear production in subjects with dry eye. Forty-eight patients were enrolled in a one-day, randomized crossover study with three applications (active intranasal, extranasal, and sham intranasal controls) in a randomized sequence; differences in Schirmer scores were assessed. In a second study, 97 patients were enrolled in a 180-day, open-label trial to examine the differences in Schirmer scores for ITN stimulation versus no stimulation.

The researchers found that the mean Schirmer scores were significantly greater with active intranasal versus extranasal and sham applications in the first study (25±10.7 mm versus 9.5±8.2 mm and 9.2±7.3 mm, respectively). In the second study, at day 180, Schirmer scores were significantly greater with ITN stimulation versus no stimulation (17.3±12 mm versus 7.9±6.4 mm). There were no reports of serious device-related adverse events.

"I believe this will be a very beneficial treatment option for our dry eye patients" Holland said in a statement. "It's an innovative technology that effectively and safely increases tear production."

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