Optometric Management Supplements

Dry Eye 2017

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JANUARY 2017 5 A Complex Approach for a Complex Condition Armed with the latest tests and treatments, optometrists are poised to better diagnose and treat their dry eye patients T he cornerstone of any successful integrated healthcare model is the adoption of a policy of global wellness. As practitioners, we must evaluate the overall well being of patients with a goal of keeping them healthy throughout their lifetimes. e impor- tance of quality of life cannot be understated. In today's optometric practice, ocular surface disease (OSD) and dry eye are among the more intricate problems that threaten quality of life. Ocular surface disease is multi- factorial and progressive in nature. We must understand the complexities associated with OSD just as we would with diabetes, glaucoma, or retinal disease. And, as optometrists, we must be able to identify the disease process in its earliest stages so we can begin treatment promptly. It is also impor- tant to develop a long-term, lifetime program for patients. With a wealth of diagnostic and treatment options at our disposal, we can help our patients gain control of most OSD problems. It's all about how we approach each patient. Using proper diagnostic tests is essential. For example, we know that meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a major cause of OSD. By identifying and treating MGD and other conditions early, we can prevent further problems from occurring. Prevention is key. To that end, e New Future of Dry Eye, a live panel discussion held in September 2016 at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, addressed all aspects of OSD and dry eye — from diagnosis and treatment to the business side of these condi- tions. In this supplement, five speakers discuss their strategies for caring for dry eye patients. Mark Schaeffer, OD, begins with the notion that every diagnostic tool available should be utilized, and says dry eye disease is no longer the problem of a select few. It does not discriminate, and it can affect anyone at any age. Next, Whitney Hauser, OD, discusses the complexity of dry eye disease, the role that MGD plays in causing it, and how to treat dry eye as efficiently as possible. In the third article, Jerry Robben, OD, discusses the dilemma of treating a patient or referring them out, noting that, as doctors, we must do what is best for our patients. If we don't have the proper equipment to provide the very best care, we must refer patients to someone who can provide that top-notch care. Nutritional supplements, such as HydroEye (ScienceBased Health), and new prescription treatments, such as Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5%, Shire), are discussed in the fourth article by Walter O. Whitley, OD. Because dry eye is a complicated disease that affects each person differently, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Each person is unique, and each treatment plan must be tailored to the individual patient. In the concluding article, Douglas K. Devries, OD, dis- cusses the bottom line. Some practitioners may shy away from selling products that could be seen as revenue genera- tors; however, Dr. Devries says you shouldn't feel remorse- ful about expanding your profit margin while also providing patients with the tools they need to effectively manage their dry eye disease. e days of simply handing out bottles of artificial tears in the exam room are long gone. It's time we all work to take patient care to the next level, and that means caring for our patients' overall health — not just their eyes. y By Jack Schaeffer, OD, FAAO

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