Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

People Who Experience Dry Eye Soon to Have Drug-Free Solution

  • Published: 2017-11-15 : Author: American Academy of Ophthalmology : Contact: aao.org
  • Synopsis: A new device that stimulates nerves in the nose offers the first natural solution to dry eye, a common eye condition.

Quote: "For years, patients suffering from dry eye have had few options. Most of them simply purchased artificial tears and hoped they got better."

Main Document

A study of dry eye sufferers who inserted a handheld neurostimulator device in their nose to make their eyes produce more tears experienced significant relief from their disease, according to research presented today at AAO 2017, the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The device gives patients a new, drug-free alternative to lubricating eye drops and topical ointments.

As important, this new route to dry eye relief produces a complete tear, containing all the elements in natural tears. When inserted into the nose, the neurostimulator produces the same reaction as when you cut into an onion. Except with onions, a chemical compound is what stimulates the eyes' glands so they release tears.

More than 20 million Americans suffer from dry eyes.

In fact, one out of every four patients report symptoms of dry eye, making it one of the most common conditions seen by eye care practitioners.

Researchers at the Cincinnati Eye Institute wanted to test the safety and effectiveness of the device, so they asked 97 patients with moderate to severe dry eye to use TrueTear for 180 days. A test that determines whether the eye is producing enough tears to keep it moist was performed in patients' eyes before and after nasal stimulation. Tests showed patients' tear level was significantly higher after nasal stimulation. Patients reported that it was easy to use and they suffered no side effects.

Tears are vital to vision.

Healthy eyes are lubricated with tears that are a mixture of oils, water, proteins, and mucus. The protective film this fluid creates supports clear vision. Without it, eyes dry out and become vulnerable to painful abrasions of the cornea. Corneal abrasions can distort vision.

For years, patients suffering from dry eye have had few options. Most of them simply purchased artificial tears and hoped they got better. However, scientists are developing new therapies that do more than just relieve symptoms.

Michael Ackermann, a biomedical engineer from Stanford Biodesign, a training program in medical-technology innovation and development, came up with the idea for the neurostimulator after he was asked to look for medical needs in eye clinics, and to come up with a solution. Ackerman quickly realized that dry eye represents a huge medical need, with no optimal treatments. Eventually, he designed TrueTear.

"I believe this will be a very beneficial treatment option for our dry eye patients," said lead researcher, Edward J. Holland, M.D., director of Cornea Services at Cincinnati Eye Institute and professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati. "It's an innovative technology that effectively and safely increases tear production."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org

• Discussion: Have Your Say! - Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Unexpected Finding May Deter Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Disease : Michigan State University.
2 : International Clinical Trial Study of AMD Progression : NIH - National Eye Institute (NEI).
3 : People Who Experience Dry Eye Soon to Have Drug-Free Solution : American Academy of Ophthalmology.
4 : Do Blind People Express Emotions the Same Way as Sighted People : Universite de Geneve.
5 : Visually-Impaired Children Experience Egg Hunt with Eggs That Beep : Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
From our Vision Disability section - Full List (73 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Eating at Night, Sleeping By Day Alters Key Blood Proteins
2 : Interior Car Temperature Can Become Life-threatening for Children in an Hour
3 : 20 New Episodes of Letters to Lynette with Dr. Lynette Louise to Air on The Autism Channel in 2018
4 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
5 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
6 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
7 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
8 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™