Electric solution for dry eye?

An increase in electrical activity in the mucous membrane could help to ease the discomfort of dry eye


University of Michigan researchers have investigated the potential for a natural voltage boost to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye.

New research, published in Cell Physiology, explored how bioelectrical responses of goblet cells in the eye adapt to fluid imbalance.

In a study of rats, scientists found that electrical activity in the goblet cells increases as hyperosmolarity rises in the tear film, allowing the cells to produce more mucin.

However, this increase in electrical activity is temporary. If the salt-to-water ratio in the tear film remains unbalanced, the activity returns to normal levels.

Study author and University of Michigan academic, Professor Donald Puro, highlighted that understanding the bioelectric mechanisms that the ocular surface uses to respond to hyperosmolarity could form the basis for new strategies for treating dry eye.