Sometimes these things just write themselves ...
Dry eye disease is a really tough disease if you have it. It can be tough to treat, too. We prescribe expensive, difficult-to-take medicines to people who are uncomfortable and unhappy. Sometimes they are miserable. Heck, we go so far as to spin down their blood to extract fresh serum or mash up fresh placentas to make drops for them when stuff gets really bad. All the time. And it works. Think about how weird that must sound to a layperson.
Now comes my colleague and Twitter buddy Daya Sharma from Australia who stumbled upon a brand new “natural” treatment for DED touted by naturopaths down under: aged urine eye drops. That is not a typo. Eye drops made from urine. Someone is telling their patients that they should be treating their DED by instilling aged urine into their eyes. People are actually posting on the internet (under their real names!) that they are using this “treatment.”
Aged. Urine. Eye drops. This is apparently a thing.
Daya is taking the high road and pointing out how fantastically stupid this is. You know, really reasonable observations about how painful fresh urine is in the eye let alone urine that’s been standing around for a while. And how inconvenient it would be if you happened to have a urinary tract infection when you “harvested” your urine. Being the sort to find the extreme, Daya points out that both gonorrhea and trachoma can be transmitted this way. Yuck.
Maybe they’re onto something, though. I’m a curious guy. I’ll bite. First, I’ll need to know a little more about the process, you know? For instance, is this autologous urine, or are we using something like a urine bank? And the whole aged part: I’m a wine guy so I’m really into the whole aging thing. How long do you have to age the urine? Do you use French or American oak? New barrels or used? Heck, we haven’t even talked about cellar conditions for storing your urine drops.
On second thought, Daya is right. Aged urine eye drops are the stupidest thing since vodka eye shots. The whole idea (and those who are pushing it) should just be flushed.
Disclosure: White reports he is a consultant to Allergan, Shire, Sun, Kala, Ocular Science, Rendia, TearLab, Eyevance and Omeros; is a speaker for Shire, Allergan, Omeros and Sun; and has an ownership interest in Ocular Science and Eyevance.