New OTC drop offers dry eye relief with low incidence of blurring

A new artificial tear eye drop caused significantly less blurring on instillation than a control drop, and offers another option for the treatment of mild-to-moderate dry eye disease.

Key Points

The test drop, polyethylene glycol 400 0.25% (blink Tears, Advanced Medical Optics) was compared with a control drop with active ingredients polyethylene glycol 400 0.4% and propylene glycol 0.3% in a hydroxypropyl guar gel solution (Systane, Alcon) in 110 patients in a randomized, two-arm, double-masked, parallel-group study. Dr. Donnenfeld presented the results of the study in a poster session here during the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

A total of 110 patients were randomly assigned to receive either the test drop or the control drop four times a day, for 30 days. At baseline, prior to installation of the drops, patients completed subjective questionnaires (1 = very poor, 10 = excellent) rating eye comfort level, quality of vision, and severity of symptoms. The same questionnaire was completed at days 7, 14, 21, and 30 of the study.

Dr. Donnenfeld and his colleagues found no statistically significant differences in corneal/conjunctival staining and tear film break-up time between the patients who received the test drop and those who received the control drop. End-of-day vision quality was also comparable between the two groups.

Patient-reported ratings showed a statistically significant improvement in mean end-of-day ocular comfort scores among those receiving the test drop between baseline and study day 7, as well as between day 7 and day 21 (p <0.001).

Patients also reported improved vision quality over time with the test drop. "Tear film stability supports vision quality with long-lasting moisture and comfort," Dr. Donnenfeld said. In this study, the mean percentage of patients who responded that their vision "definitely improved" within the first 5 minutes after installation of the drops rose from 7.1% on day 7 to 22.4% on day 30.

Finally, patients reported significantly less blur on installation of the test drop compared with the control drop. Using a 0 to 10 scale to rate mean blur on instillation, with 0 being the most blur and 10 being the least, patients who received the test drop reported a mean rating of 6.4 on day 30, compared with a 5.1 rating for patients who received the control drop (p = 0.046).

"In this study we found that [the new eye drop] offers long-lasting protection against dry eye symptoms, without the visual blurring seen with other more viscous tears," Dr. Donnenfeld said. "We use [the eye drop] after LASIK and PRK to improve patients' quality of vision and to protect the ocular surface."