ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A new treatment available at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center — prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem or PROSE — provides relief to patients who suffer from severe dry eye, often the result of cancer or complex corneal disease.
Karen S. DeLoss, O.D., Kellogg’s PROSE specialist, works closely with Kellogg’s cornea specialists to identify patients who can benefit.
“It is wonderful to be able to help patients who have suffered so much,” says Dr. DeLoss. “Typically patients have been told nothing more can be done for them and, in many cases, I am able to offer the welcome news that there is another option.”
During treatment DeLoss creates a custom-made removable prosthetic device that continuously bathes the eye in artificial tears. The device rests on the sclera — the white area of the eye — and is composed of material that allows oxygen to reach the cornea. It creates a smooth surface over the damaged cornea and the artificial tears provide lubrication and support transfer of a healthy supply of oxygen to the cornea. The device supports healing and reduces the disabling symptoms of pain and light sensitivity.
Kellogg is just one of only nine academic medical centers in the country that offers this treatment.
DeLoss, who completed a fellowship at the Boston Foundation for Sight where PROSE was developed, custom designs each device. The treatment process typically takes 7 to 10 days to achieve optimal fit and comfort level. Before leaving the clinic, each patient receives training in maintaining the device.
H. Kaz Soong, M.D., cornea specialist at Kellogg, says there are four categories of patients who typically benefit from PROSE treatment:
- Patients with severe dry eye, many whom have undergone bone marrow transplants;
- Patients who have suffered injury to the ocular surface, which commonly happens from chemical burns;
- Patients with primary diseases or those who have suffered previous eye injuries, which cause distortion of the corneal shape or surface;
- Patients with systemic inflammatory diseases.
Soong has sent many patients to Boston for PROSE since it was approved by the FDA in 1994. Now he is able to refer his patients to Kellogg’s DeLoss. “PROSE has given a new outlook on life for so many of my patients with severe dry eyes,” he says.