What Are Autologous Serum Drops and Why Should I Consider Them
An available option that has given many people extensive relief is Autologous Serum Eye Drops (ASEDs). Our partner physician, Dr. Joe Janes, MD, understands how to treat their patients with dry eyes. He is also able to order blood testing from Arcpoint Labs of Sugar Land to aid him in the treatment process. “We often think of Dry Eye Disease as a condition related to computers and living in a dry climate. That isn’t always the case. Many medical conditions initiate and accelerate the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease.”, Dr. Joe Janes, MD.
In recent decades, new and better treatment options have been developed. Your eye doctor has a host of non-prescription and prescription drops, ointments, and pills to treat Dry Eye Disease. Examples include patient-use devices (beaded masks and lid scrubs) and office procedures (Punctal Plugs, Blephex, LipiFlow and IPL lasers). Dry Eye Disease is generally a chronic problem with episodes of severe symptoms.
Autologous Serum is an eye drop derived from blood. The donor and the recipient are the same individual. The drops can be used to treat multiple ocular surface diseases. Autologous serum drops mimic the properties of natural basal tears (continuously produced to provide lubrication to the ocular surface, not the tears we cry, those are called reflex tears) to heal the ocular surface epithelium.
If you’re interested in safe ingredients for your eyes, consider autologous serum tears.
“One of the major assets of Autologous Serum eye drops is our ability to titrate the dose. We can change the concentration percentage from 5% to 100% and alter the drop frequency from once a day to every hour.” Dr. Joe Janes, MD (Aseptikit physician partner)
Eye doctors are comfortable with recommending most treatment methods. Autologous serum eye drops are one treatment eye doctors may not advise immediately. Eye doctors often recommend this treatment only as end-stage therapy when patients could benefit from using it much earlier in the initial stages of the disease.
Unstable and blurred vision in the afternoon and at night are key signs of early dry eye disease. As the tear film becomes unstable, with Dry Eye Disease, the tear volume decreases, and the eye becomes inflamed. Contact lens wearers suffer from increased lens discomfort and blurred vision.
“We have a host of over-the-counter options and excellent prescription medications to treat Dry Eye Disease. With the addition of nutritional components and growth factors found in Autologous Serum, the benefits provided by the pharmaceutical agents can be enhanced.” Dr. Joe Janes, MD
The serum is made by extracting blood from the patient, then clotting, centrifuging, and diluting with sterile saline. Then it is stored in the freezer, then refrigerated once used. The serum drops contain proteins that assist cell adhesion and migration (fibronectin), growth factors, vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and electrolytes, almost identical to basal tears but may be more concentrated. Patients who use autologous serum have a significant and faster improvement of symptoms due to the serum’s ability to mimic their natural tears. Unlike over-the-counter artificial tears, serum drops have anti-inflammatory and some anti-bacterial properties. Being derived from the patient’s own body, they appeal to patients who are opposed to using artificial substances.
For those patients with systemic hyperimmune responses such as: Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Graft vs Host Disease having a drop that is unpreserved and non-allergenic is a great benefit.
Part of the reason eye doctors have been reluctant to prescribe eye drops sooner is because, in the past, it’s time-consuming and can be a long process, including patient education and finding a reliable, convenient and low-cost source to make the serum tears.
For those patients with no insurance, high prescription drug deductibles, or Medicare or do not experience significant relief using other methods, Autologous Serum eye drops are a wonderful alternative.
Since the drops use the patient’s blood, there are fewer adverse reactions with this treatment. ARCpoint Labs of Sugar Land Texas works with Aseptikits, to make serum tears. The eye doctor sends the prescription and the correct concentration to ARCpoint Labs of Sugar Land, and ARCpoint completes the rest of the process. This includes the blood draw, preparation, and delivery. The lab can compound autologous serum tears as a single supply or as a subscription-only by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.