Effectiveness of sodium hyaluronate eyedrops in the treatment of dry eye

Michael E. Johnson, Paul J. Murphy, Mike Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


Background: Dry eye is a common condition, affecting approximately 10-20% of the adult population. Artificial tears are often effective in relieving symptoms in mild and moderate dry eye by replenishing deficient tear volume. Sodium hyaluronate has been proposed as a component in artificial tears, due to its viscoelastic rheology. This paper reports on a study carried out to assess the efficacy of two recently developed eyedrops containing 0.1% and 0.3% sodium hyaluronate (SH) in the treatment of moderate dry eye. Methods: Thirteen subjects were recruited with moderate dry eye. Forty microlitres of 0.1% SH, 0.3% SH, or 0.9% saline were instilled in both eyes, and the subjects' symptom intensity and non-invasive break-up time (NIBUT) were measured at 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min, and then hourly, until 6 h after drop instillation. This was repeated twice following an interval of 7(±1) days, but with a different treatment so that at the end of the final visit each subject had trialled all products. Drop allocation was randomized and double-masked. Results: Both symptoms and NIBUT improved with all treatments. These changes were of a larger magnitude and longer duration with the SH containing eyedrops than with saline. SH of 0.3% tended to perform better than 0.1% SH and achieved statistical significance (P=0.04) for NIBUT when considered over the whole 6-h study period. Conclusions: Sodium hyaluronate of 0.1% and 0.3% reduces symptoms of ocular irritation and lengthens NIBUT in subjects with moderate dry eye more effectively than saline, in terms of peak effect and duration of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Artificial tears
  • Dry eye
  • Tear film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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