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    Intranasal neurostimulation yields positive results for dry eye disease

    Novel handheld device shows potential to retrain the lacrimal functional unit



    ‘Everybody benefits’

    Though the treatment is not a cure for dry eye, it can dramatically reduce symptoms and may enable patients to stop some or all tear substitutes or medications, Dr. Sheppard said.

    The device can be particularly useful for patients who cannot reliably place drops in the eye, tend to poke their eyes while administering drops, suffer from a tremor, or simply prefer to keep their eye makeup intact. The device is also a more effective alternative to store-brand tears, allergy drugs, and over-the-counter vasoconstrictors that can be deleterious in patients with dry eye.

    “Everybody benefits with fewer visits to the doctor, less unnecessary medication, less time off work, and so on,” he said. “It can reduce healthcare costs, because patients are using an effective, self-directed, safe intervention and not using medications that can exacerbate their dry eye problems.”

    No serious adverse events were reported during the trial. Four patients reported nasal itching, transient lightheadedness, exacerbation of hypertension and corneal abrasion. Of the four adverse events, nasal itching was considered related to treatment and the transient lightheadedness possibly related to the device. All four of the events resolved without sequelae.

    “We are having very good early success getting some insurance companies on board with this new device,” Dr. Sheppard said. “They are recognizing that nasal neurostimulation can be an effective mechanism of action for patients with dry eye by providing a unique combination of dosage and precisely targeted anatomical delivery.”


    John Sheppard, MD, MMSc

    e: [email protected]

    This article was adapted from Dr. Sheppard’s presentation at the 2017 meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is a paid consultant to Allergan.


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