Using Ultrasound to Treat Dry Eye Disease

Washington, D.C., UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A recently published article in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 247, Issue 6, March, 2022) describes a novel treatment for dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. The study, led by Dr. Sandy Zhang-Nunes at the Roski Eye Institute in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USA), reports that ultrasound stimulation normalizes meibomian gland dysfunction. 

Dry eye disease is a common ophthalmic disorder that affects approximately 5 million adults over 50 in the United States alone. The most common cause of dry eye disease is dysfunction of the meibomian gland, which is responsible for excreting lipids onto the eye surface. Pulsed light, electrical stimulation and warming devices have been proposed for the treatment of dry eye disease. However, these approaches are limited because they do not normalize meibomian gland dysfunction and are associated with side effects such as blistering. Ultrasound is a safe and noninvasive technology that is widely used for a variety of medical applications. However, the ability of ultrasound to normalize meibomian gland dysfunction has not been investigated.  

In this study, Dr. Zhang-Nunes and colleagues tested the ability of a customized, line-focused ultrasonic transducer to normalize meibomian gland dysfunction in rabbits. Ultrasound treatment improved tear secretion and lipid layer thickness. Positive effects persisted for three weeks and no serious adverse events were observed. These results suggest that ultrasound stimulation may be an effective, safe and convenient in-office or home-use treatment for dry eye disease related to meibomian gland dysfunction. Dr. Zhang-Nunes said, "Dry eye syndrome diminishes one's ability to function and can be severely debilitating. Finding better treatments is paramount. Ultrasound is a novel modality for improving this condition. Quality of life matters!"

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine, said "Dr. Zhang-Nunes and colleagues have optimized the use of ultrasound equipment in the stimulation of the meibomian gland, as an effective treatment for dry eye disease (DED). Further testing in humans may result in a simple office or home device option for millions of people impacted by DED."

Experimental Biology and Medicine is a global journal dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. The journal was first established in 1903. Experimental Biology and Medicine is the journal of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. To learn about the benefits of society membership visit If you are interested in publishing in the journal, please visit

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