PRP Ophthalmology is the science of using PRP therapy to heal issues of the eye such as dry eyes, damage or scratches on the cornea, blurry vision, excessive watering, and redness. You can also use PRP eye drops for speedy healing after LASIK procedures.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is being recognized in the medical field as one of the safest and most effective solutions for wound healing. This application for the treatment has now been extended to healing problems in the eyes or PRP Ophthalmology as it is also called. By placing the serum in open wounds (injury or surgical), doctors can speed up healing with the minimum of scarring or infections. And now, ophthalmologists use Eye Platelet Rich Plasma to help patients with similar issues.
PRP Ophthalmology Can Help with Various Eye Conditions
Doctors specializing in PRP Ophthalmology can help you recover from various eye conditions by using conventional forms of treatment like eye drops and surgery. When these treatments are not effective enough in helping patients, they may choose to use PRP eye drops along with the other treatments. In some cases, doctors may choose to use only PRP. Here are some of the conditions that the therapy can treat.
Chronic and Symptomatic Dry Eye Syndrome
The Dry Eye syndrome is a condition where the tear glands do not produce a sufficient amount of tears. As a result, you may experience constant irritation in the eyes. Over time, the irritation causes inflammation and even scarring on the surface of the eye. The condition of dry eyes can affect the cornea and conjunctiva or the thin tissue that covers the eye and inside of the eyelids. It might interest you to know that according to the Gallup poll of 2012, more than 26 million or close to half of Americans suffer from dry eyes at some time in their lives.
Ocular Surface Syndrome
If you have been experiencing pain or discomfort in the eyes, blurry vision, or redness and itching, you might have the ocular surface syndrome. If left untreated, the condition can result in severe damage to the surface of the cornea and even, blindness.
Ulcers and Wounds in the Cornea
Corneal ulcers are like open wounds in the cornea of the eye. They can form because of an injury or infection of the eye or as a result of chemical damage. Drying up of the cornea and overwearing or misuse of contact lens can also cause these wounds.
Recurrent Corneal Erosion (RCE) Syndrome
Corneal erosion is a condition where the thin tissues in the eye that support the cornea wear away. As a result, you might notice symptoms like pain in the eyes, excessive watering, and sensitivity to bright lights. Eventually, patients find that their vision is affected.
Serum Used in PRP Ophthalmology Has Powerful Healing Components
Eye Platelet Rich Plasma (E-PRP) contains a concentration of platelets, growth factors, and white blood cells suspended in plasma. The serum also has mesenchymal stem cells, bioactive proteins, cytokines, and various other components. These elements have the capability of repairing wounds in the body by creating a framework for the tissues to rebuild and regenerate. By using PRP eye drops, doctors essentially provide the eye with the body’s tissues for healing. That’s because PRP is sourced from the blood of each individual patient.
Understanding the PRP Preparation Process
As the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports, doctors trained in PRP Ophthalmology may use the serum in two forms such as the clot or eye drops. To ensure that the treatment works as expected, they take care to maintain completely sterile conditions using disposable materials. You should expect that there is a remote possibility that the therapy may not work at all. However, rest assured that PRP is not likely to cause any adverse reactions and is safe to use. Here’s how the PRP preparation process takes place.
Doctors harvest 50 ml of blood from the forearm of the patient. They place the blood in 5, 10 ml-vacutainer tubes that contain a citrate-dextrose solution. Each test tube contains 1.4 ml of the solution that acts to prevent clotting.
Next, lab technicians place the test tubes in a centrifugal device and spin them at 200g for 11 minutes, “g” being the force of gravity exerted. In response to the spinning motion, the blood separates into three layers with the red blood cells at the bottom.
Doctors isolate the upper layers of the platelets and buffy coat and add a sterile saline solution for diluting it to 20% (v/v).
They divide the resultant serum into 5 ml bottles, wrapping each bottle with aluminum foil. The foil protects the serum from UV light so that the integrity of the vitamin A in the bottles is maintained.
Doctors instruct patients to store the bottles at -20℃ until they are ready to use them. The bottles currently in use must remain refrigerated at 4℃.
PRP Ophthalmology Treatment Protocol
Once the E-PRP serum is ready, doctors instruct patients on how to use them.
Patients place 1 drop of PRP serum in each eye along with preservative-free artificial tears every 2 hours during the day. In addition, they must place a hyperosmotic agent every 4 hours. If needed, doctors may also recommend the use of therapeutic contact lens to protect the corneas.
After 2 months, the dosage goes down to four times a day.
After 4 months, patients use only PRP eye drops and preservative-free artificial tears.
Doctors monitor the progress of the patients by calling them in for checkups at time frames of 24 hours, 72 hours, a week, and a month.
Later, patients can come in every 2 to 6 months.
PRP Ophthalmology Can Help Heal the Eyes
By using PRP eye drops, ophthalmologists can help patients recover from eye conditions.
The growth factors in PRP repair the surface of the cornea and the membrane that covers it.
PRP treatment speeds the healing of the wounds of the cornea with a lesser amount of scarring so that after the treatment is complete, vision is clearer.
By using PRP, doctors can help lower inflammation and pain levels.
PRP can reverse the harmful effects of the Dry Eye Syndrome.
The PRP serum acts as a lubricant to keep the eyes moist as it repairs and heals.
Post LASIK surgery, PRP eye drops can speed the healing and help avoid infections.