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.