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    Intranasal neurostimulation yields positive results for dry eye disease

    Novel handheld device shows potential to retrain the lacrimal functional unit



    Retraining the LFU

    What appears to be normal tear production can persist for several hours after the device is used. Dr. Sheppard likened intranasal neurostimulation to weight training, where the benefits of exercise persist and increase with regular repetition. Regular use of the treatment seems to train the LFU to produce tears in a more normal fashion and relieve dry eye symptoms.

    “Stimulating in a proper fashion, at the right place, with the right intensity and the right pattern, can teach your trigeminal nerve to work harder and more efficiently around the clock,” Dr. Sheppard said. “This is precisely how the body learns to adapt to its environment and to better serve the ocular surface.


    Study highlights

    In a randomized, controlled, double-masked, crossover trial conducted at two sites, the device showed a 2.5-fold increase in mean Schirmer score compared with two control applications.

    A total of 48 patients with a baseline index of 13 or higher and an anesthetized Schirmer test of 10 mn or less received three randomly ordered stimulations: one active extranasal stimulation, one sham intranasal stimulation, and one real intranasal stimulation. The active intranasal stimulation produced a mean Schirmer score of 25.3, compared with 9.2 for the sham intranasal stimulation and 9.5 for the active extranasal stimulation (p< 0.001 for both comparisons).

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