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Artificial tears potpourri: a literature review

Authors Moshirfar M, Pierson K, Hanamaikai K, Santiago-Caban L, Muthappan V, Passi S

Received 31 March 2014

Accepted for publication 19 May 2014

Published 31 July 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1419—1433

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S65263

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Majid Moshirfar,1 Kasey Pierson,2,* Kamalani Hanamaikai,3,* Luis Santiago-Caban,1 Valliammai Muthappan,1 Samuel F Passi1

1Department of Ophthalmology, John A Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 2University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ, USA; 3A T Still University, School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, Mesa, AZ, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Numerous brands and types of artificial tears are available on the market for the treatment of dysfunctional tear syndrome. Past literature has focused on comparing the components of these products on patient’s clinical improvement. The wide array of products on the market presents challenges to both clinicians and patients when trying to choose between available tear replacement therapies. Different formulations affect patients based on etiology and severity of disease. In order to provide an unbiased comparison between available tear replacement therapies, we conducted a literature review of existing studies and National Institutes of Health clinical trials on commercially available, brand name artificial tears. Outcomes evaluated in each study, as well as the percent of patients showing clinical and symptomatic improvement, were analyzed. Fifty-one studies evaluating different brands of artificial tears, and their efficacy were identified. Out of the 51 studies, 18 were comparison studies testing brand name artificial tears directly against each other. Nearly all formulations of artificial tears provided significant benefit to patients with dysfunctional tear syndrome, but some proved superior to others. From the study data, a recommended treatment flowchart was derived.

Keywords: dry eye, tear film, dysfunctional tear syndrome, ophthalmic lubricant, artificial tears, lipid layer, tear osmolarity, TBUT, Systane®, Refresh®, Blink®, GenTeal®, Soothe®, Lacrisert®, ocular surface inflammatory disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, HPMC, CMC, polyvinyl alcohol, liquid polyols

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