Testosterone: A Possible Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome
Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy
An estimated 4- to 6-million older Americans suffer from mild to severe dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome (DES) has a wide variety of causes. This condition, while not life threatening, can be quite uncomfortable and distressing. (See our newsletter about Dry Eyes for more information.)
David Sullivan, a medical research scientist with the Schepens Eye Research Institute (a Harvard Medical School Affiliate), has spent the last 32 years studying the interrelationships between sex, sex steroids, and dry eye disease. His work has focused on the essential role that androgens play in the health and vital functioning of tear-producing glands.
Dr. Sullivan’s research suggests that testosterone deficiency contributes to tear instability and evaporation of the oil component of the tear layer. He supports the use of testosterone in the treatment of DES.
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- Schepens Eye Research Institute. http://www.schepens.harvard.edu/.
- Connor CG. Symptomatic Relief of Dry Eye Assessed With the OSDI in Patients Using 5% Testosterone Cream. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005;46. E-Abstract 2032.
- C.G. Connor, “Retrospective Analysis of Dry Eye Patients Using 3% Transdermal Testosterone Cream.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004;45. E-Abstract 3899.
- Peterson, C. Dry Eyes. Women’s International Pharmacy. https://www.womensinternational.com/dry-eyes/: February 5, 2011.