English: autologous eyedrops
Eye drops from own blood
The so-called autologous serum eye drops are eye drops that are obtained from the patient’s own blood. This type of treatment is used for a wide variety of diseases affecting the cornea of the eye. They can be used for dry eyes (sicca syndrome), corneal ulcers, as well as for transplanted corneas.
They are used when the superficial layer of the cornea has small defects that do not heal well. The causes of such defects include: Autologous serum eye drops are an alternative for otherwise therapy-resistant corneal problems of the above mentioned type. They promote the regeneration of the cornea and thus accelerate the healing of ulcers, moisten the eyes with endogenous substances and care for the cornea.
Some of these substances are mentioned below: These components can also be found in human tear fluid. In serum, however, the concentration is many times higher. – dry eyes
- Corneal inflammation or
- Recurrent corneal abrasions and
- Growth factors
- Vitamin A
- Fibronectin (a protein). In order to produce the eye drops, blood must be taken from the patient. This usually involves 50 to 70 ml of blood.
This blood is examined in specially certified laboratories. The essential step in the production of these drops is the centrifugation of the blood. In this way the serum separates from the solid components of the blood, such as red and white blood cells.
A prerequisite for the use of autologous serum eye drops is that the patient’s own blood must be free of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. This is checked by laboratory tests before the first use. If one of the above-mentioned infections is present, the eye drops must not be produced and used.
The patient’s blood is also incubated and examined for germs at each further blood collection. Because even if a patient does not feel ill, the first pathogens can already be in the blood. These examinations cause the long production time.
The drops must be stored in a cool place and have a shelf life of only 14 days. Only a few centres in Germany (Mainz, Homburg or even Munich) offer this type of treatment. The majority of patients report convincingly good progress and results.
First successes are observed after different periods of time. The disadvantage, however, is not only the short shelf life but also the not inconsiderable time and cost involved. Each of these manufacturing processes costs about 100 euros, which are not covered by the statutory health insurance.
The autologous serum eye drops can be used very differently from one person to another. Some patients use the drops very frequently, others only a few times a day. This can be decided quite independently by the patient. The drops have a caring effect and can therefore be dosed according to need.