When you suffer from chronic dry eyes, you may wonder what treatments are available for your eye care. After all, the inability to produce the tears and fluids necessary to lubricate the eyes can be an incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable condition. Eye doctors are constantly working to develop new and effective treatments for such conditions. Among these are autologous tears that lubricate dry eyes, alleviating discomfort and reducing your risk of developing eye infections. In order to determine if this treatment option is right for you, you need to understand this treatment option a bit better.
What Are Autologous Tears?
Autologous tears are also known by optometrists as autologous eye serum drops. These eye drops are actually developed using substances from your own body.
The process of creating autologous tears starts with getting your blood drawn. You may wonder why they need your blood. Well, the reality is that blood and tears are actually quite similar in some ways. Nutrients and health-maintaining components found in tears are also found in the blood.
Thus, your doctor can use your blood to extract these components and combine them with artificial tears, creating a hybrid of natural and artificial eye lubrication solutions.
How Often Do You Need To Donate Blood For Your Tears?
When you are deciding whether or not to give autologous tears a try, your main apprehension may be the process of donating blood to make your tears. However, you will not need to donate blood as often as you would think.
A single blood draw to create your artificial tears makes about 150 bottles of autologous eye serum. If you use a bottle a day, this mean you have a 5 month supply. Thus, you would only be donating blood around two times a year to make your autologous eye serum.
How Do You Store Your Supply?
Because just one blood donation gives you an autologous tear supply that will last you for several months, you may wonder how you can properly store your supply. Luckily, all you need is a functioning freezer to keep your autologous tears viable until you need them.
Are There Any Risks?
As with any medication, there are some risks of treatment. The primary risks come from the blood that was drawn to create the drops. If another donor is used, there is a risk of transmitting bloodborn pathogens such as hepatitis or HIV. However this risk is extremely minimal, and non-existent when your own blood is used in serum generation.
Additionally, you can run the risk of developing an infection in your eye from prolonged use of the same eye dropper when administering your eye drops. This can be avoided by regularly cleaning and changing out your eye dropper.
When considering whether or not autologous tears are a good treatment option for you, keep all of these factors in mind. If you are interested, contact an eye doctor like DC Eye Associates and discuss the possibility and potential effectiveness of autologous tears in treating your chronic dry eyes.