Lubricant eye drop designed for patients with meibomian gland dysfunction

December 1, 2010

A new lubricant eye drop offers a treatment option for patients with meibomian gland dysfunction.

Hünenberg, Switzerland-A new lubricant eye drop (Systane Balance, Alcon Laboratories) offers a treatment option for patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

The drop contains hydroxypropyl guar, borate, sorbitol, propylene glycol, and a proprietary emulsion technology (LipiTech System, Alcon) of mineral oil and an anionic phospholipid that holds the components in suspension to deliver more than 2 hours of relief from symptoms of dry eye. It is available without a prescription at retailers in the United States.

The emulsion technology keeps the mineral oil suspended so it does not float to the surface of the eye, said Kristopher May, OD, an optometrist in private practice in Coldwater, MS, and an adjunct faculty member at the Southern College of Optometry.

David L. Kading, OD, FAAO, in private practice in Seattle, WA, said the lubricant eye drop enhances the oil layer of the tear film and improves stability of patients' vision. Meanwhile, it "anchors itself down" into the basement layer and slowly releases more oil for prolonged relief.

"This really creates that outer layer that helps enhance the tear film so it doesn't evaporate as rapidly," said Dr. Kading, who also is an adjunct faculty member at Pacific University College of Optometry.

"Most patients were using an artificial tear every 2 hours, but with [this drop] they seem to get relief with using it two to three times a day," Dr. Todd said. "Women who wear eye makeup or contact lenses like this.