dry eyes PRP

by Dr. Samuel G. Oltman, ND

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is best known for its use in orthopedic medicine to treat arthritis and injuries, but the evidence also shows immense benefit as a treatment for chronic dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction. An estimated 15 million Americans suffer from this condition leading to a constant drain on quality of life. A review of the scientific literature and our own experience with patients at ORM reveals that Oregon Regenerative Medicine’s PRP Dry Eye protocol is the clear treatment choice for relieving chronic dry eyes, decreasing medications, and improving quality of life. 

What causes Dry Eye Disease?

70% of chronic dry eye patients suffer from meibomian gland dysfunction. These glands secrete the essential oil layer that keep the eye hydrated. Dysfunctional meibomian glands shrink and disappear in advanced cases, leaving the eyes vulnerable to dryness via rapid evaporation of water. PRP eye drops regenerate the meibomian glands, restoring the oil-secreting function of these glands.

PRP restores meibomian gland function

Because PRP has been shown to regenerate dysfunctional and shrunken meibomian, glands, Dr. Noel Peterson utilized his decades of expertise in orthopedic PRP production to test and develop the PRP dry eye protocol in 2017. We’ve been clearly seeing the positive results ever since. 

The Results are Clear for PRP and Dry Eye Disease

A review of the literature is very promising: in comparison to artificial tears (a standard dry eye treatment), a study of 83 subjects showed PRP was superior in symptom relief and in healing the surface of the cornea after just 30 days. In another study of nearly 300 patients, 88% of patients improved after just 6 weeks. We eventually want to see larger studies comparing PRP to other common medications, but a success rate of over 85% in multiple studies is a very impressive start to the research of this therapy.

yes to PRP for dry eye disease

A Patient’s PRP Success Story 

Our experience with our own patients reaffirms what we see in the studies. Betsy is a woman in her mid-sixties who had tried everything for her dry eyes: artificial tears, steroids, antibiotics, warming applications, and the new “autologous serums”. None worked for her and when she saw me, she was taking 3 different eye drops several times per day just to get by. She was suffering greatly. Her SPEED Questionnaire, a measure of symptom severity, was 18 at her first visit. We made her the PRP eye drops (a 2-month supply) and her score dropped to 11, then to 8 after just 12 weeks. That’s a greater than 50% improvement in 3 months, while discontinuing all her other medications! We expect more improvement as time goes on, but she is already thrilled with the results. 

We recommend that our dry eye patients have established care with an ophthalmologist to get baseline and follow up testing (Schirmer’s test, ocular staining and/or meibomian gland morphology). The physicians at ORM are widely recognized by eye health professionals as experts in PRP products and are trusted with the care of their patients. If you suffer from dry eye now is the time to get your PRP eye drops made and get your life back!

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