Autologous Serum Eye Drops (ASEDs)
Using your blood and plasma to help your eyes… Yes, you read that correctly! These tears go by many names but most easily Serum Tears.
What they are:
Drops derived from blood with the goal of mimicking natural tears to help the healing process. You are the donor and recipient. Natural tears are a complex mixture and constantly being produced to protect the front surface of the eye. When these drops are manufactured, they will contain immunoglobulins, vitamin A, fibronectin, and growth hormones; essential components present in natural tears. When you use artificial, store-bought tears, there is no way the quality will match what your body can do naturally. These tears not only feel good upon instillation but provide safe ingredients to promote healing to the ocular surface.
How they are made:
After clinical evaluation, you will receive lab work orders for a blood draw. The lab will collect, clot, centrifuge and then dilute your sample with sterile saline. It will then be frozen. The drops will need to be refrigerated. Serum tears can be ordered and made in different concentrations and therefore, can be utilized for mild to severe dry eye patients. Patients that use serum tears have a significant and faster improvement of symptoms due to the drops ability to mimic natural tears. For patients with systemic hyperimmune responses, such as RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), Sjogren’s, Graft vs Host Disease having an option that is unpreserved and non-allergenic is a great benefit.
A special contact lens made from amniotic membrane used to help restore your cornea and return your eye to a normal, healthy state.
What is amniotic tissue?
Amniotic membrane is the part of the placenta that surrounds and protects the baby during pregnancy. This unique tissue has been shown to have natural healing properties in the womb.
Where does it come from? Is it safe?
Amniotic membranes are provided by an FDA regulated tissue bank. The tissue has passed numerous safety and quality control tests. The tissue is donated by consenting, healthy mothers after scheduled cesarean section (C-Section) births within the United States. Donor suitability is stringent and is determined through social, physical and medical screenings.
What is does:
Application of the tissue reduces inflammation, minimizes corneal scarring and promotes growth of healthy cells.
What to expect:
Dr. Flaherty will place the membrane onto the eye in office. Typically, the lens is worn for 3-5 days. This is not painful; however, you may experience awareness of the edge. Occasionally we will partial close the eye to help with comfort. Only one eye will be treated at a time, and there will be a follow up appointment for removal.
Day of Insertion
- Have a driver bring you to the appointment.
- Some patients may experience discomfort; generally, you will feel a foreign body sensation but is NOT painful.
- To assist with comfort, we may partially close the eye (tape the eyelid) shut.
- Prokera is not fully transparent, so expect your vision to be somewhat cloudy during treatment.
First 24 hours
- After insertion, we suggest you return home and take a nap, this usually helps with the initial discomfort state.
- Your eye may water a lot, turn red, and exhibit discharge – all of which is normal and part of the healing process. Notify the office with concerns.
- We may instruct you to use gel tears and/or to use a cool compress on the closed eyelid if you are feeling discomfort. You can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with the discomfort.
- Try to point your nose at any object you wish to look at as it will help minimize any additional discomfort.
- After sleeping, you may wake with matted lashes from discharge; this is also normal. Carefully dab any away any discharge from your lashes with a clean wet towel.
- Do not rub your eye too hard as this moves the device and could cause damage your cornea.
Your vision will appear to be cloudy, and you will be able to see about 50%.
- For most patients, the foreign body sensation should go away with time. It is normal if you can still feel the device.
- Continue to rest, do not engage in strenuous activities or operate heavy machinery.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes, stron blinking, or moving Prokera with your fingers.
- Do not remove your Prokera device without consulting the office first.
- Do not swim or soak your face with water.
- Shower only when the eye is tightly closed.
- Use drops and other medications as prescribed by the doctor.
Your vision may become cloudier, and you will be able to see about 20-25%.
- Your vision will become less cloudy and start to improve.
- Continued discharge is common.
- Use eye drops and other medications as prescribed by the doctor.
You will be scheduled for a follow up appointment around this time to check the treatment progress and removal of the device.
Contact the office immediately if you experience increased discomfort, can all of a sudden see clearly or have any other problems with your Prokera device.