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World-first Manuka Honey trial offers sweet relief for dry eye sufferers

Photo: World-first Manuka Honey trial offers sweet relief for dry eye sufferers
In a world first, Queensland-based TGA licensed medical device manufacturer Melcare Biomedical, has announced the results of research undertaken by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) into the use of its Optimel™ Manuka honey product range for the treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) induced dry eye and related dry eye conditions.

MGD is a chronic dry eye condition resulting from abnormalities of the glands in the eyelids, important for maintaining tear quality and leading to increased tear evaporation. Despite being largely unheard of, MGD affects up to 20 per cent of all Caucasians and more than 60 per cent of the Asian population with an increased prevalence with aging for all populations.

Symptoms of the disease include redness, discomfort, dryness of the eye and a continuous ‘gritty’ feeling with crust on the lashes particularly in the morning. In many cases MGD is life-long, with those diagnosed having to adopt management treatments such as increased eye hygiene and lubricants.
The two products used in the clinical trial completed by QUT, Optimel Antibacterial Manuka+ Eye Gel™ and Optimel Antibacterial Manuka+ Dry Eye Drops; were developed using a proprietary medical honey blend sourced from predominantly Australian Leptospermum spp (Manuka), known their therapeutic properties.

During the 24 month long clinical trial, patients using the Optimel™ Manuka honey products as part of a standardised treatment saw statistically significant improvements in symptoms including less gritty, more comfortable eyes and reduced reliance on lubricants.

CEO of Melcare Biomedical Anthony Moloney said results of the clinical trial were not surprising given the strong feedback he had received from patients and clinicians using Optimel™ s.

“The response we’ve had from optometrists has been very supportive, and from patients, incredibly overwhelming. While the drops do sting when first applied and are not a solution for all patients, those who do see results generally experience significant relief in a relatively short period,” Mr Moloney said.

“Since launching the Optimel™ product range, we have had an outstanding response, not just in Australia but from patients and clinicians across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States” he said.

In addition to its Optimel™ range, Melcare has developed a family of clinically driven natural products containing medical grade Manuka honey for dermatitis, wounds, chronic nasal congestion and dry cough

The Optimel™ clinical trial was published online on 6 June in Optometry Australia’s Journal, Clinical and Experimental Optometry. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cxo.12524/epdf.

What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is a chronic condition characterised by abnormalities of the glands in the eyelids that are important for maintaining tear quality. MGD leads to increased tear evaporation leaving the eye surface susceptible to inflammation, damage and discomfort. Despite being largely unheard of, MGD affects up to 20 per cent of all Caucasians and more than 60 per cent of the Asian population.

Symptoms of MGD include redness, pain and dryness of the eye and a continuous ‘gritty’ feeling. In most cases MGD is life-long, with those diagnosed having to adopt management treatments such as increased eye hygiene and lubricants.


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