Effectiveness of sodium hyaluronate eyedrops in the treatment of dry eye

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2006 Jan;244(1):109-12. doi: 10.1007/s00417-005-0028-1. Epub 2005 Jun 28.


Background: Dry eye is a common condition, affecting approximately 10-20% of the adult population. Artificial tears are often effective in relieving symptoms in mild and moderate dry eye by replenishing deficient tear volume. Sodium hyaluronate has been proposed as a component in artificial tears, due to its viscoelastic rheology. This paper reports on a study carried out to assess the efficacy of two recently developed eyedrops containing 0.1% and 0.3% sodium hyaluronate (SH) in the treatment of moderate dry eye.

Methods: Thirteen subjects were recruited with moderate dry eye. Forty microlitres of 0.1% SH, 0.3% SH, or 0.9% saline were instilled in both eyes, and the subjects' symptom intensity and non-invasive break-up time (NIBUT) were measured at 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min, and then hourly, until 6 h after drop instillation. This was repeated twice following an interval of 7(+/-1) days, but with a different treatment so that at the end of the final visit each subject had trialled all products. Drop allocation was randomized and double-masked.

Results: Both symptoms and NIBUT improved with all treatments. These changes were of a larger magnitude and longer duration with the SH containing eyedrops than with saline. SH of 0.3% tended to perform better than 0.1% SH and achieved statistical significance (P=0.04) for NIBUT when considered over the whole 6-h study period.

Conclusions: Sodium hyaluronate of 0.1% and 0.3% reduces symptoms of ocular irritation and lengthens NIBUT in subjects with moderate dry eye more effectively than saline, in terms of peak effect and duration of action.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Tears / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Hyaluronic Acid