What Are Autologous Serum Eye Drops?
What Are Autologous Serum Eye Drops?

There are ingredients in autologous serum eye drops (ASEDs) that artificial tears simply can’t replicate, but that promote healthy ocular surface (called the cornea) growth and healing. As compared with artificial tears, ASEDs contain antibodies, albumin, Vitamin A, and epidermal growth factors that are needed for healthy eyes in order to keep them healthy. In patients requiring more advanced eye treatment, ASEDs are not tear substitutes, and they are typically used in combination with other treatment modalities, including artificial tears, DELIT, and punctual plugs.

How Effective Are Autologous Serum Eye Drops?

Patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease often find that autologous serum eye drops help them see better, feel better, and heal better if their corneas have been damaged or operated on.

There have been a number of theories proposed as to why ASEDs help dry eye patients who have yet to respond to other treatments; however, they are not entirely certain as to how they work. It may be because eye drops made from your own blood contain a large amount of albumin (a natural protein also found in eggs) that produces a stronger, more protective tear film for the corneal epithelial cells (surface cells). 

Additionally, we have observed that using the serum for the eyes improves the health of the delicate nerves on the eye’s surface and improves the quality of the tear film. Because of the limitations of artificial tears, it is recommended to use ASEDs before and after certain surgeries, including corneal transplants and vitrectomies, in order to enhance the healing potential of the ocular surface.

How Are My Own Blood Cells Made Into Eye Drops?

It’s pretty easy and convenient to make lubricating eye drops from your own blood collection. Professional technicians at our office draw your blood using sterile techniques and strict quality controls using a very small amount of blood. It takes about 15 minutes and does not require fasting.

How Effective Are Autologous Serum Eye Drops?

There have been few known adverse events associated with ASEDs over the 20 years since they were introduced, and they have proven fairly effective in treating moderate to severe dry eye. From severe rheumatoid arthritis-induced dry eye syndrome to Sjogren’s syndrome, keratitis, to keratoconjunctivitis sicca, serum drops have been used to treat many conditions of the ocular surface. This type of eye drop is safe since it is derived from the patient’s own blood rather than that of blood donors (graft versus host disease).

The use of serum drops for treating a range of ocular surface disorders has prevented randomized, controlled studies from being conducted involving a large number of subjects with the same diagnosis. In addition, clinical trials have yet to be conducted since the drops are made from a patient’s tears rather than manufactured. Therefore, this treatment is not FDA-approved at this time.

Wrapping Up

The use of ASEDs for treating moderate to severe dry eye has been demonstrated to be relatively effective over the past twenty years since its introduction, and there have been few known adverse reactions. The International Task Force on Dry Eye, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society all recommend ASEDs as a treatment for moderate to severe dry eye. These groups all report their members’ success in treating dry eye symptoms with ASEDs.

Author’s Bio:

Deinah Storm works in the corporate industry, but she has quite a bit of knowledge about beauty, health, and skin care. On her free days, she finds solace in writing and educating more people about taking care of your beauty, skin, and wellness.