Originally published in NKCF Update (November 2023).
A new treatment for dry eye disease comes to the market this month (November 2023). Tyrvaya by Viatris is a nasal spray that increases basal tear production by stimulating nerves found in the nose. The nasal trigeminal nerves are also connected to the eye: the nasal spray triggers natural tear production.
Dry eye disease affects millions and can be especially difficult for those who rely on contact lenses for vision rehabilitation. Signs of dry eye disease include stinging, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and eye fatigue. Many individuals with keratoconus also complain of these symptoms, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish between the effects of dry eye disease and keratoconus.
The Tyrvaya campaign,“It’s Not Another Drop” plays off the traditional dry eye treatment of eye drops or artificial tears. For many, an increase in wetness across the ocular surface makes wearing contacts more comfortable and reduces irritation.
Dr. Melissa Barnett OD, an expert in dry eye disease and keratoconus welcomes the new therapy. “Tyrvaya is a great option for many patients. The results are remarkable – new tears are produced in minutes. I also find my patients appreciate the convenience of a nasal spray: contact lenses will not need to be removed and eye make-up will not need to be reapplied.”
While not for everyone, Tyrvaya joins a number of new dry eye treatments approved by the FDA in 2023 that should bring relief to the dry eye community. New products include Mien from Bausch & Lomb, and VEVYE from Novaliq. Both medications, like Tyrvaya, are available with a doctor’s prescription.
The standard dose of Tyrvaya is a spray in each nostril twice a day. The most common side effect was sneezing, which was experienced by 82% of study participants. Other complaints were temporary, mild irritation of the nose or throat, or cough. If you experience dry eye symptoms, ask your doctor about treatments that might work best for you.
Dr. Melissa Barnett OD, FAAO, FSLS is a Principal Optometrist at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where she works in the Student Health and Counseling service. A past president of the Scleral Lens Education Society, she specializes in keratoconus and fitting specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures frequently on achieving a healthy work/life balance. She is the host of the NKCF podcast, Clearly KC with Dr. Melissa Barnett.