Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a rapidly evolving, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with dry eye disease. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound stimulates the meibomian glands, causing an increase in their tear production that can last for weeks after a treatment in preclinical studies.
The primary options for treatment of dry eye disease include frequent medication dosing or possibly invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a more effective alternative to conventional therapy. While significant work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
Focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of dry eye disease.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for dry eye disease is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Lu G, Gollapudi S, Li R, Pfeiffer ML, Mehta P, Jiang L, Hamm-Alvarez S, Humayun M, Zhou Q, Zhang-Nunes SX. Focused ultrasound stimulation on meibomian glands for the treatment of evaporative dry eye. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2021 Oct 14:15353702211052035. doi: 10.1177/15353702211052035.
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