March 15, 2016

Dry Eye Syndrome + Epithelial Erosion = A Problem, Until Now

A previous blog on Recurrent Corneal Erosion syndrome (RCE) discussed the problem with the never ending cycle of palliative treatment. Contact lenses, artificial tears, and sodium chloride drops are commonly used to alleviate the patient’s ongoing symptoms of erosions. The epithelial anomaly is usually due to trauma to the corneal surface; in the following case, the trauma was induced by corneal surgery. If the patient suffers from the condition of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) in addition to epithelial erosion, then the equation will yield a problem that may never be restored . . . until now.

A 32-year-old Asian female has a history of LASIK surgery five years ago. She is a stay-at-home mom that started a new job as a data-entry specialist. She sits in front of a computer eight hours a day, five days a week. Consequently, she ends up with a severe Dry Eye and then has an abrasion adjacent to the LASIK flap. She is treated routinely with a Bandage Contact Lens (BCL) and artificial tears. Within a five-month period, she endures eight more bouts of erosions, pain, and inconvenience. Having seen multiple doctors without relief, she finally is referred to our clinic. Her problems were compounded by complaints by her new boss for frequent absenteeism. Without hesitation, we immediately treated her with a Prokera® SLIM lens atop the inflamed cornea.  After two lenses and 20 days of treatment, her signs and symptoms completely resolved. The LASIK flap remained intact and the micro cystic edema dissipated entirely.

The patient was monitored every four to six weeks to see if the condition would return. As of the past six months, she no longer struggles with episodes of erosions and is still symptom-free from dryness and ocular irritation. Although her Dry Eye condition has dramatically improved, she may need another Prokera lens in the future because of her constant computer usage. At present, both the patient and her boss happily report that she is doing well and has not missed ONE day of work since being treated with Prokera. Now she can take time off from work when she wants to!

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