I’ve always felt the path to compassion is community. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog. Despite being told early in my career to remain quiet about my autoimmune journey I instead chose to be vocal and transparent about my insecurities, concerns, and treatments. I believe we all benefit from shared knowledge. That’s why I’m excited to be talking with Dr. Randall Harrell, the founder and CEO of Regener-Eyes®, about how his new technologies and research are helping people with autoimmune conditions.
When I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome I was finally able to put a name to my symptoms — especially my dry eyes. I used to wake up in the mornings barely able to open my eyes because they were so dry. It was painful to start my day that way. Regener-Eyes® has helped give me relief from my dryness and my eyes are clearer and brighter which is great for my on-camera duties.
I sat down with Dr. Harrell and quickly found we both had a passion for the intersection of science and wellness. I’m so excited to share the Regener-Eyes® story with you.
Carrie Ann: Dr. Harrell, it’s so nice to meet you, thank you for taking the time to talk to my followers about Regener-Eyes® eye drops. I’ve been using Regener-Eyes® eye drops since your company reached out to me and I have to say — ‘Regener-Eyes®, where have you been my whole life!’ Can you explain to me how Regener-Eyes® came to be?
Dr. Harrell: Thank YOU Carrie. What you are doing to help educate your fans about autoimmune diseases and treatments is really important. I am certain that you have helped many people find relief. My story starts a long time ago when I was a young boy. My mother had chronic dry eyes and I would go to the doctor with her and all the doctors that she saw really didn’t have much to offer. They would tell her to put a moist warm compress on your eye, and that was the extent of what they could do back in that time.
Carrie Ann: Yes, I totally understand that. I’ve been there as well.
Dr. Harrell: Even though I was young, it seemed to me there had to be a better option than a compress. As I was able to acquire more knowledge and understand more about the chronic inflammatory nature of all these diseases, including chronic dry eye, I thought if we could decrease the chronic inflammation and get the regeneration to occur we could get a much better outcome than anything else on the market. And that’s what we found in clinical practice. Creating a product to help solve for this seemed logical and exciting to me.
Carrie Ann: The science behind the development of this product fascinates me. Can you break it down for the average person, like myself, how Regener-Eyes® is able to lubricate my eyes and provide relief?
Dr. Harrell: Regener-Eyes® is a biologic eye drop made of anti-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Cytokines are proteins produced by your cells and they serve like little messengers between cells. These types of proteins are necessary for cell function, overall health, and homeostasis.
My “ah-ha” moment was when I discovered that dry eye disease is really caused by chronic inflammation. I developed a simple eye drop solution to help improve the problem patients are having and potentially stimulate healing and regeneration to occur. Regener-Eyes® Ophthalmic Solution has been a real breakthrough in the treatment of dry eye disease, and it is part of a standard of care that is starting to change based on the science of regenerative medicine.
Carrie Ann: Why does this trend excite you?
Dr. Harrell: The biggest trend is now the advancement of regenerative medicine that started in the early 1990s. I was working with this in Texas, and lot of people thought our results were science fiction. Our results were too good be true, like it was some kind of lab error. But a lot of people now understand that regenerative medicine is the next evolution in health care. That’s just progress, and a lot of it is based on the concept of biologics.
All the pharma companies that don’t have a biologic in their pipeline will probably have one in the next five years. They work so much better than pharmaceuticals. They’re safer because they’re more natural, and they’re a lot more effective. A lot of them are derived from living tissue, either bacteria, fungus, or cells of animals and humans, and they’re much more complex than a small molecule pharmaceutical. That’s why a lot of people don’t know how they work, but that’s where the excitement is. That’s a change for almost all parts of medicine because you can affect all parts of your body with these new biologics.
Carrie Ann: What is the best way to use Regener-Eyes® and are there different versions of the product?
Dr. Harrell: We have two solutions: a light version for moderate symptoms that is shelf stable and can easily be carried in a purse for use on the go and throughout the day. Like when you are back and forth on set. We also have a Professional version for severe symptoms and needs to be refrigerated.
Carrie Ann: How can someone get Regener-Eyes® eye drops?
Dr. Harrell: The easiest way is to contact your eye care provider and request the eye drop. We will then ship Regener-Eyes® directly to your home. You can also visit www.RegenerEyes.com/CarrieAnn for more information.
Carrie Ann: I love that I got my own page. Super cool. Thank you.
Dr. Harrell: We are so excited to be working with you. If there is any way we can support you or your fans further please give me a call. Thank you for sharing and thank you for having me as part of CarrieAnnConversations.com. And good luck with Dancing With The Stars. My family loves that show.
Carrie Ann: It has been my pleasure. I’m so excited to be partnering with you.
For more information about Regener-Eyes® and its products go to www.RegenerEyes.com/CarrieAnn