Amniotic Membrane for Dry Eye Houston, TX
Amniotic membrane is popularly used in regenerative medicine for a wide variety of purposes because of its regenerative properties and natural properties. Its use for the treatment of dry eye is still relatively new.
Continue reading to learn more about amniotic membranes for dry eyes.
What is an amniotic membrane?
The amniotic membrane is the innermost, non-vascular layer of fetal membranes. It’s a thin membrane on the inner aspect of the fetal placenta. An amniotic membrane is a tissue transplant with healing properties. It can help treat dry eyes by repairing the surface of the eye.
This membrane layer is composed of the epithelium, basement membrane, and stroma. All the components of the amniotic membrane contain properties that play an important role in healing. The basement layer component has collagen makeup similar to that of the cornea and conjunctiva, which helps to promote cellular growth. The stroma contains the fetal hyaluronic acid and cytokines important to reduce inflammation. Amniotic membranes have anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-microbial, and anti-fibrotic properties.
Types of amniotic membranes in Houston, TX
There are two different types of amniotic membranes:
Dehydrated Amniotic Membrane
A dehydrated amniotic membrane is the type of amniotic membrane preserved using a vacuum with low-temperature heat to preserve its cellular components. This type of amniotic membrane is only approved by the FDA for wound coverage.
Unlike cryopreserved tissue, dehydrated amniotic membranes are kept at room temperature, making them easier to preserve and transport, unlike the other type of amniotic fluid, but it needs to be rehydrated by healthcare professionals for clinical use using a small drop of salt solution.
Cryopreserved Amniotic Membrane
The cryopreserved amniotic membrane is the second type of amniotic membrane. It needs storing at a freezing temperature of -112ºF (-80ºC) for preservation making it more expensive and difficult to preserve and transport. A DMEM/glycerol preservation media is used for storing this membrane to allow for freezing without ice formation.
This helps the amniotic membrane to retain the extracellular matrix components, such as heavy-chain hyaluronic acids, growth factors, fibronectin, and collagen, all of which contribute to its regenerative properties. On the other hand, cryopreserved amniotic membranes attach to carrier paper so they can be cut out according to the specific requirements of each individual. It doesn’t require rehydration.
How Do Amniotic Membranes Work?
The amniotic membrane works by functioning as a physical barrier to safeguard the epithelium of the conjunctival and corneal as it heals and encourages tissue growth. In addition to that, it also minimizes pain caused by friction of the eyelids over the surface.
Amniotic membranes are essential fetal tissue rich in stem cells that work as a short-term corneal graft. When used for dry eye, the amniotic membrane helps to relieve symptoms and improve visual health.
Benefits of Using Amniotic Membrane for Dry Eye
Inflammation along the edge of your eyelids is a major cause of dry eye as it can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into the tears. The amniotic membrane is a known anti-inflammatory tissue. Using an amniotic membrane for dry eyes helps to reduce inflammation. Also, it helps to repair the surface of the eyes, thus getting rid of the dry eyes symptoms.
Clinical Application of Amniotic Membrane in Houston, Tx
The amniotic membrane is used in regenerative medicine as a source of several types of stem cells and potent growth factors. Amniotic membrane has several clinical applications. It can be used in the treatment of keratitis after the failure of treatment using medications.
Keratitis is of different types ranging from keratoconjunctivitis and neurotrophic keratitis. It’s also used in wound healing to encourage the healing process. More studies on the benefit of amniotic membrane to graft are still ongoing.
Amniotic Membrane for Dry Eye Procedure
Tissues from a donor are used to perform the amniotic membrane for dry eye procedure. It’s carried out by a specialist eye doctor. Amniotic membranes used during this procedure are mostly obtained from the placentas of fetuses who are delivered through elective cesarean birth. The amniotic tissue is screened for possible infectious diseases and treated with antibiotics before the procedure. After obtaining and preparing the amniotic membrane, the dry eye treatment procedure then goes thus:
- You will be asked to lie down while an eye doctor places small devices over your eyelids to keep your eyes wide open.
- Then, the amniotic membrane graft is placed over the cornea and ocular surface of your eye.
- Sutures or fibrin glue is used to secure the membrane in its position.
In cases where the dehydrated amniotic membrane is used, the eye doctor places a bandage contact lens on top to secure it firmly on the right spot.
Amniotic Membrane Graft Recovery
Amniotic membrane graft for dry eye requires minimal recovery time, and during this period, you’re not to rub your eyes for any reason. It’s also recommended to stay away from activities like driving and other regular activities that require full vision and concentration, as the eye may be blurry during this recovery period. After recovery from the graft, you can resume your normal tasks.
Amniotic Membrane for Dry Eye Reviews
Below are some amniotic membranes for dry eye reviews:
“The staff are so helpful and nice. I’ve struggled with dry eyes for years now without any positive results with all the treatment options I’ve tried; I’m super glad that the amniotic membrane treatment worked.
“Amniotic membrane for dry eye existed, recommended to me years ago when it was still relatively new, and I didn’t try it out because there’s not enough evidence to determine if it works or not. Here, I am a few years later with much better vision and relief of symptoms of dry eyes. I’m glad I decided to try it out this year. “
The Future of Amniotic Membranes in Eye Care
For decades now, the amniotic membrane has been an effective treatment option for numerous conditions, and recently, eye care has embraced the distinct quality of this natural anti-inflammatory tissue. Since its adoption for dry eye treatment, it’s been so perfect that researchers are looking into more ways amniotic membrane can be used for its benefits with eye conditions.
Amniotic membrane for dry eyes is still only used by a handful of eye doctors because some don’t even know the benefit and the modality of its use in dry eyes. Reviews have shown that with increased familiarity with the procedure in the coming years, its adoption will become more extensive, and its usage for a lot of other eye conditions will be considered.
How long does the amniotic membrane last on the eyes?
The amnion membrane takes only a week before it dissolves from the eye.
How much does amniotic membrane treatment cost?
The average cryopreserved amniotic membrane procedure for dry eye is about $7,000. The procedure is quite expensive, but it’s worth the cost.
What does an amniotic membrane do for the eye?
The amniotic membrane does many things for the eye. It can replace or heal damaged tissue in the eye. It can also help minimize inflammation and symptoms of dry eye.
How long does an amniotic membrane last on the eye?
It lasts for a week in the eye, and after that, it gets degraded and absorbed.
How do they remove amniotic membranes from the eye?
There’s no need to remove the amniotic membrane from the eye because it completely dissolves and gets absorbed within seven days.
When do you use amniotic membrane eyes?
The amniotic membrane is used for the eye when the eye is dry eye treatment, macular hole repair, ocular surface burns, corneal ulcers, and much more treatment.
What is a membrane contact for dry eyes?
Membrane contact for dry eyes is a treatment for dry eyes that works by reducing inflammation and discomfort. The treatment allows the ocular surface to heal properly and recover from damage caused by eye dryness.