Reflexive tears are triggered by foreign bodies in the eye. Anything that mimics the sensation of a foreign body can also trigger reflexive tears. Dryness, allergies, or even something in the nose can mimic a foreign body sensation. Reflexive tears are more copious than normal tear film. They overflow and flush out foreign bodies.
Reflexive tears are more caustic then normal tear film. They protect eyes from bacteria or other infections born by the foreign body. Chronic reflexive tearing can be damaging to the delicate tissues around the eyes.
Doctors sometimes place sterile swabs in the nose to test for reflexive tearing.
Device to Trigger Reflexive Tears
TrueTear™ is a device that triggers the production of reflexive tears. It received FDA approval in 2017.
Before using the device, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
According to its manufacturer:
• The safety and effectiveness of the Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator for the treatment of aqueous deficient dry eye disease has not been established.
• In a clinical study, the safety and effectiveness of intranasal electrical stimulation was evaluated over a 6-month period of time. The safety and effectiveness of the device for longer periods of use has not been established. Periodic examination of the nose is recommended if the device is used over a longer period of time.
• Clinical study results demonstrate a trend of decreased effectiveness (tear production) over time. The mechanism for this decrease has not been identified and was not analyzed as part of the study.
• The clinical study was not designed to evaluate any changes in nerve sensitivity
• The direct clinical benefit of temporarily increasing tear production as a therapy for patients with dry eye disease was not assessed
Patient Guide for the TrueTear™ Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator
Retrieved June 28, 2017 from: https://allergan-web-cdn-prod.azureedge.net/actavis/actavis/media/allergan-pdf-documents/labeling/ifu_truetear_professional.pdf
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