Background: Corneal oedema is a common post-operative problem that delays or prevents visual recovery from ocular surgery. Honey is a supersaturated solution of sugars with an acidic pH, high osmolarity and low water content. These characteristics inhibit the growth of micro-organisms, reduce oedema and promote epithelialisation. This clinical case series describes the use of a regulatory approved Leptospermum species honey ophthalmic product, in the management of post-operative corneal oedema and bullous keratopathy.
Methods: A retrospective review of 18 consecutive cases (30 eyes) with corneal oedema persisting beyond one month after single or multiple ocular surgical procedures (phacoemulsification cataract surgery and additional procedures) treated with Optimel Antibacterial Manuka Eye Drops twice to three times daily as an adjunctive therapy to conventional topical management with corticosteroid, aqueous suppressants, hypertonic sodium chloride five per cent, eyelid hygiene and artificial tears. Visual acuity and central corneal thickness were measured before and at the conclusion of Optimel treatment.
Results: A temporary reduction in corneal epithelial oedema lasting up to several hours was observed after the initial Optimel instillation and was associated with a reduction in central corneal thickness, resolution of epithelial microcysts, collapse of epithelial bullae, improved corneal clarity, improved visualisation of the intraocular structures and improved visual acuity. Additionally, with chronic use, reduction in punctate epitheliopathy, reduction in central corneal thickness and improvement in visual acuity were achieved. Temporary stinging after Optimel instillation was experienced. No adverse infectious or inflammatory events occurred during treatment with Optimel.
Conclusions: Optimel was a safe and effective adjunctive therapeutic strategy in the management of persistent post-operative corneal oedema and warrants further investigation in clinical trials.
Keywords: Manuka honey; bullous keratopathy; cataract surgery; cornea; corneal oedema.
© 2015 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Optometry © 2015 Optometry Australia.