Nav: Home

Dry eye sufferers will soon have a drug-free solution

November 13, 2017

New Orleans - Nov. 12, 2017 -- A study of dry eye sufferers who inserted a handheld neurostimulator device in their nose to make their eyes produce more tears experienced significant relief from their disease, according to research presented today at AAO 2017, the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The device gives patients a new, drug-free alternative to lubricating eye drops and topical ointments. As important, this new route to dry eye relief produces a complete tear, containing all the elements in natural tears. When inserted into the nose, the neurostimulator produces the same reaction as when you cut into an onion. Except with onions, a chemical compound is what stimulates the eyes' glands so they release tears.

More than 20 million Americans suffer from dry eyes. In fact, one out of every four patients report symptoms of dry eye, making it one of the most common conditions seen by eye care practitioners.

Researchers at the Cincinnati Eye Institute wanted to test the safety and effectiveness of the device, so they asked 97 patients with moderate to severe dry eye to use TrueTear for 180 days. A test that determines whether the eye is producing enough tears to keep it moist was performed in patients' eyes before and after nasal stimulation. Tests showed patients' tear level was significantly higher after nasal stimulation. Patients reported that it was easy to use and they suffered no side effects.

Tears are vital to vision. Healthy eyes are lubricated with tears that are a mixture of oils, water, proteins, and mucus. The protective film this fluid creates supports clear vision. Without it, eyes dry out and become vulnerable to painful abrasions of the cornea. Corneal abrasions can distort vision.

For years, patients suffering from dry eye have had few options. Most of them simply purchased artificial tears and hoped they got better. However, scientists are developing new therapies that do more than just relieve symptoms.

Michael Ackermann, a biomedical engineer from Stanford Biodesign, a training program in medical-technology innovation and development, came up with the idea for the neurostimulator after he was asked to look for medical needs in eye clinics, and to come up with a solution. Ackerman quickly realized that dry eye represents a huge medical need, with no optimal treatments. Eventually, he designed TrueTear.

"I believe this will be a very beneficial treatment option for our dry eye patients," said lead researcher, Edward J. Holland, M.D., director of Cornea Services at Cincinnati Eye Institute and professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati. "It's an innovative technology that effectively and safely increases tear production."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit


Media Relations

American Academy of Ophthalmology

Related Ophthalmology Articles:

Dental occlusion and ophthalmology: A literature review
Dental Occlusion and Ophthalmology: A Literature Review is a summary of many years of research and dental clinic of Orofacial Pain Department directed by Professor Monaco of University of L'Aquila on a complex subject: connections between temporomandibular joints and vision.
BMJ launches new open access ophthalmology journal
Healthcare knowledge provider BMJ has added a new title to its expanding portfolio of 60 specialist journals, with the launch of BMJ Open Ophthalmology later this month.
Elsevier announces the launch of American Journal of Ophthalmology; Case Reports
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports (, a new open access journal publishing case reports in all subspecialties within ophthalmology.
Elsevier announces the launch of American Journal of Ophthalmology; Case Reports
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports, a new open access journal publishing case reports in all subspecialties within ophthalmology.
Ophthalmology's data science initiative yields important clinical post-surgery insights
The Academy announced important clinical insights gleaned from its IRIS Registry®, the country's only comprehensive database of ophthalmic patient outcomes.
2 JAMA Ophthalmology studies focus on glaucoma medication adherence
Electronic monitoring to measure medication adherence by patients with glaucoma documented that a sizable number of patients did not regularly use the eye drops prescribed to them.
First reversible glue bandage could save injured soldiers' vision
Scientists have developed the first reversible glue that could be used on the battlefield to treat eye injuries, potentially saving soldiers' vision.
NHS sight tests lead to waste
On today, a leading eye doctor says that opticians are making too many referrals to doctors.
American Academy of Ophthalmology launches national initiative to benchmark and improve patient care
The American Academy of Ophthalmology today unveiled the nation's first comprehensive eye disease and condition patient database.
Mass. Eye and Ear and HMS department of ophthalmology receives RPB Grant
Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has awarded a grant of $110,000 to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding diseases.

Related Ophthalmology Reading:

Ophthalmology Made Ridiculously Simple
by Stephen Goldberg (Author), William Trattler (Author)

All the ophthalmology necessary for the non-ophthalmologist. Includes interactive CD (WIN/MAC) with atlas of ophthalmic diseases, as well as movies of common ocular surgical procedures (cataract surgery, lens implantation, Lasik, Lasek, intacs surgery). View Details

Review of Ophthalmology, 3e
by Neil J. Friedman MD (Author), Peter K. Kaiser MD (Author), William B. Trattler MD (Author)

Designed to maximize easy retention and quick recall, Review of Ophthalmology, 3rd Edition, by Drs. Neil J. Friedman, Peter K. Kaiser, and William B. Trattler, is the best-selling review book you can trust to get you successfully through your exams. An efficient, easy-to-digest format distills key information into highly relevant bullet points. You’ll quickly master what you need to know in all subspecialty areas, including the latest information on today’s standard diagnostic techniques, medical treatments, and surgical options.

Covers the most important... View Details

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Illustrated Manual of Ophthalmology, 4e
by Peter K. Kaiser MD (Author), Neil J. Friedman MD (Author), Roberto Pineda II II MD (Author)

2015 BMA Medical Book Awards Highly Commended in Internal Medicine Category! The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Illustrated Manual of Ophthalmology is the must-have medical reference book for the ever-changing field of ophthalmology. Thoroughly updated to include the latest advances in the field, the fourth edition of this renowned manual features high-quality color images and an intuitive design for easy comprehension and reference. Ideal for ophthalmic practitioners and allied health professionals alike, this indispensable resource is... View Details

Ophthalmology: Expert Consult: Online and Print, 4e
by Myron Yanoff MD (Author), Jay S. Duker MD (Author)

2014 BMA Medical Book Awards Highly Commended in Surgical specialties category!

Get the quick answers you need on every aspect of clinical ophthalmology and apply them in your day-to-day practice. The latest edition of Ophthalmology by Drs. Yanoff and Duker presents practical, expert, concise guidance on nearly every ophthalmic condition and procedure, equipping you to efficiently overcome whatever clinical challenges you may face.

"In summary, the role of clinical electrophysiology of vision in clinical practice is better documented in... View Details

The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease
by Nika Bagheri MD (Editor), Brynn Wajda MD (Editor), Charles Calvo MD (Editor), Alia Durrani MD (Editor)

Publisher’s Note:   Products purchased from 3rd Party sellers are not guaranteed by the Publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product.

For more than 25 years, The Wills Eye Manual has been a best-selling source of authoritative guidance on treating ocular disorders in an office, emergency room, or hospital setting.  The 7th Edition introduces exciting new changes to bring this pocket-sized reference thoroughly up to date – including extensive multimedia content – while retaining the features that have... View Details

The Little Eye Book: A Pupil's Guide to Understanding Ophthalmology
by Janice K. Ledford AS COMT (Author)

The Little Eye Book: A Pupil’s Guide to Understanding Ophthalmology is an easy-to-understand introduction to the field of eye care that has been updated into a new Second Edition. This book is written with the non-physician in mind, so you won’t be bogged down with heavy details, yet every basic fact that you need is right here. With photographs as well as drawings and helpful tables and charts, this conversational-style text packs a big punch. Beginning with an illustrated description of ocular anatomy, the book sweeps you into the workings of vision with... View Details

Ophthalmology Secrets in Color, 4e
by Janice Gault MD FACS (Author), James F. Vander MD (Author)

Portable and high yield, Ophthalmology Secrets in Color is perfect for use in clerkships, for exam prep, or as a handy clinical reference. From basic science to problems of the aging eye, it covers everything you need to stay abreast of the latest in this broad specialty. A bestselling volume in the popular Secret Series®, its Q&A format, helpful lists and tables, and informal tone combine to make reference fast, easy, and enjoyable.

"This is a quality book that multiple audiences may find helpful. The question-and-answer... View Details

Ophthalmology: Current and Future Developments (Volume 4): Contemporary Scleral Lenses: Theory and Applications
by Melissa Barnett (Author), Lynette K. Johns (Editor)

Contemporary Scleral Lenses: Theory and Application, provides comprehensive information about scleral lenses. Chapters of this volume have been contributed by renowned scleral lens experts and cover a variety of interesting topics. These topics include the history and evolution of scleral lenses, basic scleral lens structure, optics and customizable features of scleral lenses, analysis of ocular surface shape, ocular surface topography and advances in optometry technology. These topics give readers an explanation of how to utilize diagnostic equipment in optometry practice and enables... View Details

Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach, 8e
by Brad Bowling FRCSEd(Ophth) FRCOphth FRANZCO (Author)

Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach is the classic specialty text providing the perfect ophthalmology foundation for trainees through to experienced practitioners. The famous visually dynamic and succinct format enables easy comprehension and focused guidance in the diagnosis and management of ophthalmic disorders.

"...must-have comprehensive reference for any general ophthalmic practice." Reviewed by Doody's Review Service, Sept 2015

"...outstanding and excellent textbook." Reviewed by, July 2015

... View Details

Case Reviews in Ophthalmology, 2e
by Neil J. Friedman MD (Author), Peter K. Kaiser MD (Author)

The case study format used in Case Reviews in Ophthalmology, 2nd Edition has been proven to be a highly effective way to incorporate medical knowledge with clinical judgment – resulting in the best possible results on practical exams. More than 140 relevant cases cover every aspect of the field: optics/refraction; neuro-ophthalmology/orbit; pediatrics/strabismus; external disease/adnexa; anterior segment; and posterior segment. Large photos highlight each case, enhancing your knowledge and reinforcing key aspects of diagnosis.

Covers the most important and... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Consequences Of Racism
What does it mean to be judged before you walk through the door? What are the consequences? This week, TED speakers delve into the ways racism impacts our lives, from education, to health, to safety. Guests include poet and writer Clint Smith, writer and activist Miriam Zoila Pérez, educator Dena Simmons, and former prosecutor Adam Foss.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#465 How The Nose Knows
We've all got a nose but how does it work? Why do we like some smells and not others, and why can we all agree that some smells are good and some smells are bad, while others are dependant on personal or cultural preferences? We speak with Asifa Majid, Professor of Language, Communication and Cultural Cognition at Radboud University, about the intersection of culture, language, and smell. And we level up on our olfactory neuroscience with University of Pennsylvania Professor Jay Gottfried.