The first tear duct implant developed to treat inflammation and pain following cataract surgery has been shown to be a reliable alternative to medicated eye drops, which are the current standard of care, according to a study presented today at AAO 2014, the 118th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The device, known as a punctum plug, automatically delivers the correct amount of postoperative medication in patients, potentially solving the issue of poor compliance with self-administering eye drops.

After cataract surgery, most patients are prescribed topical eye drops to reduce ocular inflammation that often occurs after surgery, but many do not or are not able to comply with the recommended dosing regimen. To potentially eliminate the issue of compliance, patients who had received cataract surgery from four ophthalmology practices across the United States were selected to participate in this phase 2 study. The researchers tested punctum plugs designed to deliver a sustained release anti-inflammatory pain medication (dexamethasone) to the eye over a period of 30 days following the removal of cataracts. After 30 days, the plug softens, liquefies and is cleared through the tear duct without the need for removal. The researchers concluded that when compared to a placebo, the dexamethasone punctum plug provides sustained reductions of inflammation and pain for up to one month following cataract surgery.

The 60 participants were randomly split into two groups, with one group of 30 patients receiving a placebo vehicle punctum plug and the other group of 30 patients receiving a dexamethasone-medicated punctum plug. At various points throughout the 30 days following cataract surgery the researchers assessed the number of patients in both groups with ocular inflammation (measured by the presence of anterior chamber cells in the treated eye) and pain….Read more: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-duct-implant-effective-pain-inflammation.html

Source: Medical Express

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