Autologous means that the donor and the recipient are the same person. The eye drops in this case are made from your own blood. Red blood cells and clotting factors are removed, leaving behind blood serum. This is diluted with a sterile, preservative-free solution to produce a tear substitute that is unique to the patient, and contains many important growth factors and nutrients normally found in healthy tears. Since blood and tears have an almost identical salinity and pH, there is no issue of burning or stinging upon instillation. Because they are non-preserved, the drops are stored in the freezer until you need them.
Serum Tears is a therapy that has been around since the 1970s and is considered a homeopathic or holistic remedy for dry eyes of all stages. Patients who cannot use eye drops with preservatives or who cannot take prescription dry eye therapy drops are wonderful candidates for this alternative. Sometimes over-the-counter drops aren’t helpful enough or prescription drops are too expensive, and that is also a good reason to give these drops a chance to help control your dry eye symptoms.
Serum Tears are 5 times higher in concentration of the nutrients that our eyes need to heal and keep infection away from our corneal tissues than our natural tears possess already! The serum is the “yellow” component of our blood that helps bring healing to all parts of our bodies, for example, if you get a mosquito bite and scratch at it, you’ll see a little yellow bubble form on the bite (this has healing properties and is comprised of serum!). If our tears are depleted because of lack of production or evaporative loss, the serum tears can act as “super drops” to help replenish what we need for healthy eyes!
EASY! Come to the office for a blood draw (each time you need them made up). Our dry eye consultant will draw your blood, then she spins the serum down and puts it in bottles for you to take home and administer just like store-bought drops. There is some care involved in the drops, like freezing the drops you aren’t using and keeping the drops you are using cold. Don’t worry, instructions come with the blood draw. Other than that, it is easy and convenient and best of all ... it is your body healing itself (much like the stem cell therapy your friends have told you about). The drops have NO preservatives, NO complex chemicals and are custom made just for you! They are meant to be used 4 times daily in both eyes and are very affordable.
Dr. O’Rourke and Dr. Hathaway are the best judge of how much progress you are making during the therapy. You will most likely notice some improvements in your symptoms, however, some patients don’t even know their eyes are DRY when they are prescribed dry eye drops and therefore, may not see any changes. When the doctors look at your corneal damage under the microscope, they will see that the severity of the damage has improved in most cases. If they don’t help you, the doctors will simply change your therapy and give you other alternatives. Often times with Dry Eyes, it takes a symphony of treatments, not just a solo.
There are a couple of price points for serum tears through REV(eye)VE Tears. If you’d like 3 months, it is $125.00 for a supply. 6 months is $250.00 and if you require a home visit, there may be a surcharge for travel added on. It is necessary to talk to the office to find out if you can accommodate a schedule at the office or if a home visit will have to be arranged.