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CG Connor, J Fender; Comparison of Androgenic Supplemented Artificial Tears . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):66.
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Purpose: Many factors are known to contribute to dry eye syndrome but therapy generally consists of artificial tears. This treatment can provide short-term symptomatic relief but it does not treat the underlying problem. Sullivan has shown a pivotal role for androgens in the treatment of dry eye.Androgens play a key role in regulating the function of both the lacrimal and meibomian glands. DHEA is a steroid hormone produced naturally by the adrenal glands that has 5% of the androgenic activity of testosterone. The present study compares artificial tears supplemented with DHEA or testosterone for its effect on TBUT and Schirmer test. Methods: Twenty subjects age range 24 to 65, mean age 40.2 yrs 11 males and 9 females who had a subjective complaint of dry eye were enrolled in this double masked study. The subjects were divided into three groups: one group received artificial tears supplemented with 1% testosterone, the second group used artificial tears supplemented with 1% DHEA, a third used artificial tears alone. Subjects used each of the drops 4 times daily for two weeks. The groups were changed after two weeks of drop use until each subject used all three drops. Baseline TBUT(tear breakup time) and Schirmer test were done prior to the study and after the use of each the three artificial tears preparations. Results: Baseline TBUT 5.3 +/- 2.25, Artificial Tears 5.4 +/-2.37, Testosterone 5.1 +/- 2, DHEA 7.6 +/- 1.8. Schirmer baseline 14.95 +/- 6.7, Artificial Tears 14.8 +/- 8.5, Testosterone 11.85 +/- 4.9, DHEA 21 +/- 6.2. ANOVA with post hoc student Newman-Keuls reveals that the TBUT and Schirmer test results with 1% DHEA are different from baseline, artificial tears and testosterone at p=.05 level. Patient questionnaire indicates all subjects felt the drops with DHEA or testosterone were irritating, but 60% felt the DHEA reduced their symptoms better than the artificial tears and 50% said the product also provided longer relief than artificial tears. Conclusion: DHEA supplementation of artificial tears improves TBUT and Schirmer test results. Subjectively the patients felt the DHEA drop worked better than artificial tears or teststerone. This study supports the notion that addition of androgenic hormones to artificial tears may benefit dry eye patients.
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