Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Many dry eye patients have increased levels of inflammation on their ocular surface. This can manifest as the traditional signs and symptoms of inflammation, such as redness and pain. The good news is that we can now measure this inflammation on the ocular surface. In my clinic, I use InflammaDry, a quick in-office test made by Quidel. InflammaDry measures one particular inflammatory marker, specifically metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). Although MMP-9 is non-specific, testing for it helps me to fill in gaps in the clinical picture. Traditionally, I have treated inflammation in dry eye using ophthalmic ester-based steroids (Lotemax SM, for example) or immunomodulators (Restasis, Xiidra and most recently, Cequa). However, steroids can only be used in the short term and immunomodulators are sometimes not well tolerated (stinging with Restasis, anyone?).
A new option exists for these patients called Regener-Eyes. It's a preservative-free biologic eye drop made of anti-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. Without losing you in the specifics, these natural agents help to modulate inflammation and restore homeostasis in the tear film. This is the same platform upon which autologous serum eye drops work, but Regener-Eyes eliminates the need for a blood draw.
There are two versions of the eye drop - Professional and Lite - depending on the severity of the patient's condition. The suggested dosage is one to four drops a day, at the doctor's discretion. For more information, you can go to mydryeyes.org.
I look forward to treating my inflammatory dry eye patients with Regener-Eyes. I plan to use the professional strength, as the condition of the patients I see in my dry eye specialty clinic tends to be more severe. I'll report back on the results I get. The advent of Regener-Eyes is great news for those of us treating dry eye patients. Who wouldn't agree we could use more tools in our dry eye armamentarium?