Dry eye patients find relief at the tips of their fingers


Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Dr Shafi Balal demonstrating the fingerprick technique at the XXXIV congress of the ESCRS


A new approach for treating dry eye syndrome and persistent epithelial defects in which patients apply a pricked and bleeding finger tip to their eye appears to be safe and effective, according to the findings of a study presented by Shafi Balal MD at the XXXIV congress of the ESCRS.

“ Our small study suggests fingerprick autologous blood (FAB) is an effective alternative low-cost, readily accessible treatment for DES, and also for persistent epithelial defects,” said Shafi Balal MD, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.

He noted that the treatment appears to work by the same mechanisms as other blood-derived products, such as autologous serum, platelet-derived plasma which have shown promising results in clinical trials. However, those treatments have not been widely adopted owing to the expense and time-consuming nature of production.

In contrast, FAB involves almost no expense and simply requires patient s to wash their hand, sterilise their finger with alcohol and prick their finger- in the same way diabetic patients do to test their blood sugar levels-and then apply a drop of blood directly from their fingertip to their lower fornix.

Dr Balal’s study involving 12 patients with dry eye syndrome and three patients with persistent epithelial defects underwent FAB treatment four times daily for eight weeks and then were followed for a further four weeks.

They found that after eight weeks treatment the patients’ mean Oxford corneal staining grade improved from 3.67 to 2.33 (p<0.0001), tear break-up time increased from 5.24 seconds to 7.71 seconds and OCI score improved from 53.17 to 27 (p<0.001). There were also improvements in mean visual acuity and Schirmer’s scores, but they did not reach statistical significance. There were no complications .

Four weeks after treatment cessation mean Oxford Staining grade, OCI and tear break up time all worsened. However, persistent epithelial defects had resolved after one month of treatmen, Dr Balal said.

about the Forum

The ESCRS Education Forum is intended to provide physicians with specific education materials. As a central repository of various educational tools, physicians worldwide can continue their education by exploring the following:

* Videos, Presentations, and Interviews from ESCRS meetings

* Posters from ESCRS meetings

* Related EuroTimes Articles

* Related EuroTimes Supplements

Read more

Articles & Supplements

Recent Articles & Supplements

ESCRS Posters

Posters from the ESCRS Meetings

  • Poster: Cataract surgery with toric intraocular lens with and without intraoperative aberrometry

    Tue 15 Nov 2016
  • Poster: Cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05% in subjects who experience discomfort while engaging in electronic visual tasking: effect on ocular surface staining and visual function

    Thu 22 Feb 2018
  • Poster: The results of high-cylinder toric intraocular lens implantation in patients with cataract and high astigmatism

    Thu 01 Mar 2018
  • Poster: Intraoperative wavefront aberrometry for toric intraocular lens placement in eyes with a history of refractive surgery

    Tue 15 Nov 2016
  • Poster: The effect of cyclosporine-A 0.05% emulsion on the ocular surface and corneal sensation in post-cataract surgery

    Thu 22 Feb 2018
  • Poster: Clinical outcomes of trifocal intraocular lens implantation after cataract surgery

    Thu 01 Mar 2018
  • Poster: The role of modern diagnostics in the selection of successful toric IOL to the patient who has undergone keratoplasty: a clinical case

    Tue 15 Nov 2016
  • Poster: Modified fundus camera: portable screening tool for meibomian gland dysfunction in cataract patients

    Thu 22 Feb 2018