CEI now offers ‘one-stop shopping’ for patients’ dry eye serum drops
- Posted on: Dec 3 2018
Dry eye disease is a common reason for patients to seek medical care from their eye doctors. The symptoms of dry eye disease, which include excessive tearing, blurry vision, and eye redness, are treated with a variety of options. One of these options can now be done—start to finish—at Cincinnati Eye Institute’s Blue Ash location.
Dry eye serum drops, also known as autologous serum eye drops, is one option for those with severe dry eye disease. This is a prescription eye drop that uses a patient’s own blood serum which is diluted with a solution to produce a tear substitute that is unique to the patient.
CEI and Northmark Pharmacy, which is located at the Blue Ash office, have collaborated to make this available to patients on-site which means patients have a shorter wait time and added convenience to receive their drops.
A doctor must first write a prescription which the patient brings to CEI. CEI’s nurse practitioner, Christina Wilson, draws the patient’s blood which is then processed in the on-site pharmacy. The blood is separated in a centrifuge; the serum is then diluted with a sterile, preservative-free solution which creates the patient’s unique tear drops. Since blood and tears have an almost identical salinity and pH, patients will not experience burning or stinging of eye drops.
Once the process is complete in a few hours, the patient will pick up their vials and store them in a freezer until they are ready for use. Each patient will receive eight vials of these drops; frozen drops expire 45 days from the date they are made by the pharmacy. If the patient continues treatment, the process will have to be repeated every five weeks.
The cost is $120 and not covered by insurance. The appointments for this process will be done on the first and third Friday mornings of each month. People with certain medical conditions may not be candidates for the procedure which the referring physician will determine.
For more information on the process or to schedule your blood draw, contact Cincinnati Eye Institute at (513) 984-5133.