Your eyes are your windows to the world. But healthy eyes mean more than clear vision. Eye discomfort from corneal ulcers can make simple daily tasks seem impossible, and can even put your vision at risk.
Conventional treatments can be effective, but not everyone responds well to them. PRP Dry Eye Clinic offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or serum eye drops to bring long-lasting comfort and healing to your eyes.
The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped layer that covers the front of your eyes. In addition to bending and focusing light to help you see, the cornea acts as a major part of your eyes’ defense system. The top layer of your cornea is called the epithelial layer. It acts as a barrier, protecting your eyes against invasion by microorganisms.1
A corneal ulcer is an open sore — a break in the epithelial layer that can result from:2,3
When there is a defect in the epithelial layer, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms can infect your cornea, causing a rapid onset of symptoms like pain, light sensitivity, and vision loss.5
Treatment of a corneal ulcer depends on the cause. But not all corneal ulcers respond to conventional treatment.
Of the causes listed above, dry eyes, neurotrophic keratopathy, metaherpetic disease, chemical burns, and immunological disorders can lead to chronic, non-healing ulcers.
If the infection is left untreated or inadequately treated, complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, and vision loss can result.6 Such a risk makes finding an effective alternative treatment for chronic corneal ulcers an urgent need.
Corneal wound healing depends on a variety of proteins, such as epithelial, fibroblast, and platelet growth factors.7 But when your cornea can’t provide enough growth factors to heal itself, you need another source.
And according to experts, that source may be your own platelets.
Platelets are tiny cells that help your blood clot in the event of an injury. When activated, they supply a rich amount of growth factors and other chemicals that promote tissue healing and regeneration.8 Studies have also shown that they can recruit stem cells to an injury site, where they then transform into new, healthy tissue.9
But your body doesn’t always produce platelets at the intensity we need them to.
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, eye drops deliver a high concentration of platelets (at least 2 times that of whole blood) to your eyes to boost your body’s natural healing process.
Several studies support PRP’s effectiveness in treating chronic, non-healing corneal ulcers.
In one study, 38 patients with dormant (persistent, unresponsive to treatment) corneal ulcers were treated with PRP eye drops for 1 week. Of the 38 participants, only 2 showed no changes by the end of the treatment. All others experienced either significant improvements or complete healing of their ulcers, demonstrating PRP’s ability to heal.10
Another study examined the efficacy of PRP eye drops for patients with neurotrophic corneal ulcers. After using the PRP eye drops for up to 3 months, 80% of the patients experienced complete healing of their ulcers, while 16% experienced considerable improvements.11
A 2018 study showed similar effectiveness of PRP eye drops for the treatment of corneal ulcers that occurred as a result of corneal surgery. By the end of this study, 90.9% of patients reported improvements in their symptoms, and 65.1% improved their visual acuity.12
The PRP procedure is simple, convenient, and quick. Your entire appointment should last about an hour. Here’s what you can expect at PRP Dry Eye Clinic:
|A technician will draw a small sample (about 15 cc) of blood from you, which will be placed in a tube.
|The vial is placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood at high speeds. This separates the platelets from the other blood components.
|We remove the tube from the centrifuge and reintroduce the concentrated platelets to the plasma.
|Once the PRP solution is prepared, your provider will provide instructions on how to use the eye drops.
We offer autologous PRP or serum eye drops, meaning the drops are made from your own blood. Using your own body to heal means the risk of adverse reaction is extremely low. Talk to your provider if you experience any discomfort from your PRP or serum eye drops.
Chronic, non-healing corneal ulcers can be frustrating and frightening. But PRP eye drops can provide a powerful, safe alternative to conventional treatment.
If you’re in the Joplin, MO area and want to learn more about how PRP eye drops can help you, talk to one of our caring staff today.Call us today to learn what PRP can do for you.