Ever been down the eye drop aisle at the store and been overwhelmed by the large number of drops and vitamins that are available for the eyes? If you have ever complained about red, burning or dry eyes it is highly likely you have tried several different types of eye drops to try and help. Many people look for a new drop that will last longer and do a better job of soothing their eyes. Please, don’t buy those “get the red out” eye drops. They often make the situation worse because they are full of preservatives. It may be worth a visit to BA Eye Site to discuss your symptoms with our optometrist. The answer may be a new tear but it may need more aggressive therapy with Restasis or other newer advanced techniques.

Natural Tears and Eye Drops?

Natural tears are composed of three layers that all need to be healthy to make your eyes comfortable and provide stable vision. The lipid layer is the layer most often compromised and this causes most dry eye symptoms. An eye drop that stabilizes and enhances this layer is often the best answer.

The brands Dr. Ozment recommends most often are Systane, Refresh, Soothe, Blink, and Theratears.  But even though these companies produce quality, high performing tear supplements, some patients report their eyes still experience irritation and discomfort within just a few minutes of dosing the tears. The pharma companies have been working to find a way of keeping moisturizing eye drops on the eye longer without blurring vision or creating stinging.

Ocusoft (Novagali Pharma) is a major player in the field of dry eyes with lid treatments to aid in improving meibomian gland function to help alleviate many dry eye issues.  They have engineered Retaine MGD which has been shown to extend the moisturizing effect longer. With this drops nationwide release, it can now be found at your local pharmacy and even on Amazon.

Why Retaine MGD

  • Electrostatic molecular attraction — the corneal surface has an overall negative ionic charge, so they made this drop with a positive charge to allow it to “stick” to the corneal surface.  Opposites attract right (think magnets)- that is a law of the universe.
  • Lipid-Stabilizing – The MGD stands for Meibomian Glad Dysfunction. The meibomian glands are the oil glands that secrete the top-coat of the tear film and line the eyelid. This oil layer slows evaporation of the mostly water-based tear film off of your eye.
  • Preservative Free – Preservatives extend the life of foods and medications because they kill bacteria and pathogens, but they are also toxic to your eye.  Preservatives are often the main cause of the stinging most people experience when they use over-the-counter eye drops.
  • Long-Lasting – This drop is quite thick, but this thickness does not result in blurry vision because of the ionic charge helps Retaine MGD to spread evenly as you blink.

With the benefit of being preservative-free, the drop must be packaged in single-use vials to prevent contamination.  There is no way to recap the vial to store it for later use, so they are essentially single use.  Ocusoft has developed a bottle that will be multi-use for this drop and it utilizes a one-way valve concept to keep the contents contaminate free. These will also be preservative-free and found on the shelves alongside the single-use vials.

We can definitely recommend Retaine MGD for patients that experience consistent dry eye irritation.  If you have tried other artificial tears and they don’t work for you, then you should try Retaine MGD before you consign yourself to just living with it.  Restasis is the only prescription dry eye treatment on the market that can increase your natural tear film production. Retaine MGD is an over the counter moisturizing supplement.

Dr. Matthew Ozment
Optometrist, Broken Arrow OK
(918) 893-3769