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Link between Viscotears and eye healing?

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  • Link between Viscotears and eye healing?

    My background is that about 18 months ago I went through a period of extremely dry eyes. It went away after a couple of months. I was using flaxseed oil, eyedrops and viscose eyedrops at night, plus a routine of lidcare (there was some conjunctavitis associated with the dry eyes.)

    After the dryness cleared up, I developed double vision in one eye which has remained for the past 18 months. During this time I had another bout of dryness, which was again controlled nicely by drops, flaxseed oil, etc.

    Recently I was finally referred to an opthalmologist, who checked my eyes and says I have a damaged cornea, most likely the result of epithelial tearing (dry eyes stuck to the inside of the eyelid.)

    He advised that laser surgery is an option, but said first to go on a four month course of Novartis Viscotears and see if that helped fix the problem.

    He suggested the Viscotears because of a study which showed that patients awaiting laser surgery who used the product often ended up not requiring surgery after all.

    I am not keen to have surgery, as my vision is 20/20 even with the double vision, but I get headaches etc as you would expect, and I work in IT which means I spend a lot of time on the computer.

    My question is:
    Can anyone refer me to the study my opthalmologist mentioned? I can't find it anywhere on the web, and I'm not sure I want to put drops in my eye four or five times a day for four months if there is nothing to back that up.

    (Not that I mind the drops. They are actually quite soothing.)


  • #2

    Hi there,

    For what it is worth, I use mainly Viscotears. I also use minims. I would like something in between though as I find that the Viscotears can be too gloopy (they are cooling and soothing though on first application) and seem to leave my eye stuck together or crusty in the mornings.
    The minims just run out of my eye and down my face so, as I say, something in between would be better but I have not found it yet - I am in Northern Ireland.

    All the best,

    - Seamus


    • #3
      Are Viscotears available only in the UK? Are the over the counter? I looked up the key ingredient, and it sounds like Dr. Holly's drops. If you have tried both Dr. Holly's drops and VT, can you comment on the difference? Any information that you can give would be appreciated. I'm always on the lookout for something that will make my epithelium stick to its basement membrane. :-)


      • #4

        They are available in the UK (do not know about elsewhere), and although I get them on prescription I think you CAN buy them over the chemist counter.
        Never tried Dr Holly's so can't comment. I also do not know if Viscotears are preservative-free - I can never tell by looking at ingredients, so if anyone knows if Viscotears have preservs (I suspect so) can they comment on how potent/potentially harmful the preservative(s) is/are? Thanks,


        • #5
          They are not available in the US. They come in preservative-free individual vials. They're a carbomer drop. Used to use them a long time ago while living in England if I ran out of my usual stuff, because at the time they were pretty much the only thing we could get there.
          Rebecca Petris
          The Dry Eye Zone


          • #6

            Hi there,

            In Uk I have only ever seen a tube of gel in pharmacists rather than the vials.
            If you do a google image search for "Viscotears" though
            you can see that they do indeed come in vials from some outlets
            See here


            - Seamus


            • #7
              Rebecca & Seamus,

              Thank you for the information. I am looking for something to help me sleep for more than about four hours at a time. Genteal Gel seems to need to be reapplied (in my case) at least twice each night.


              • #8
                Do make sure that you get the preservative free version of Viscotears. I was given lots of Viscotears to use after my Lasik in 2004 and then I found (through my internet research) that the preservative used was cytotoxic and they were not good for long term use. I don't think a preservative free version has reached NZ but apparently Genteal Gel is now available here.
                I did find that the Viscotears were quite good but now use pf Alcon Poly Gel (a carbomer gel like Viscotears) but have to apply it several times in the night as well. My eyes are not gunky in the morning though.
                It would be awesome if there was a gel or similar that did last all night or more than 4 hours!!!
                When the going gets tough - the tough get going!


                • #9
                  Viscotears are available in the UK both containing a preservative in a tube and also as preservative free individual dosage vials.

                  I have tried both. It seems that the PF version is not as readily available. You can buy them OTC however they are much more expensive.

                  I was getting 2 boxes at a time on RX from my DR.

                  I gave them away a few months ago as I prefer Genteal Gel (which is not available in the UK but I get a generic identical product shipped from Australia).

                  Both Genteal and Viscotears are made by Novatris (??sp).

                  Hope this helps.



                  • #10

                    Anyone heard of that study?

                    Anyway, Viscotears are available OTC in Australia in both preservative and preservative-free forms. They are not cheaper with a prescription.

                    The preservative is Cetramide 0.1mg/g



                    • #11

                      Thanks for all the info folks. I must try to get my hands on the preservative-free version, - I wish it was available in a tube, though, as I find the individual vials a bit of a pain. All the best, - Seamus.


                      • #12
                        This thread has been really informative. Thanks!


                        • #13

                          The reason it is in vials is that it has no preservative. The preservative is what allows them to put it in tubes.


                          • #14

                            Thanks Dylan,

                            That makes sense and is so obvious now - but I had never realised that link in the past!


                            • #15
                              Glad to be of service.

                              Also, regarding what Dotanne said above:
                              I did find that the Viscotears were quite good but now use pf Alcon Poly Gel (a carbomer gel like Viscotears) but have to apply it several times in the night as well. My eyes are not gunky in the morning though.
                              It's interesting to note that although I use the gel on only one eye, any gunkiness I get affects both eyes, so I'm not 100% certain that it is related to the gel at all. Unless it has some mechanism that affects both eyes equally. (And in any case I am not having any particular trouble.)


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