Dry Eye Disease

Ocular surface disorders take many forms, including dry eye disease (DED). It is an area that has benefited from decades of research to alleviate patient suffering. New pharmaceuticals provide even greater benefits for treating DED. This issue’s Docs Speak Out survey will explore caring for patients with DED.

Describe the process by which you explain to patients that their teary eyes are caused by an underlying dry eye disease?

“Explanation through discussion, and a single illustration piece posted in the exam room.”

“The majority of dry eye is caused by meibomian glands that are not functioning properly. These glands secrete oil that mixes with your tears, provides lubrication to the eye and controls how fast your tears evaporate. Without this oil you will have eyes that get red, itch, burn and water uncontrollably at times. Treatment needs to be done now because these glands do not regenerate, so once lost are gone for good.”

“I use an eyelid model and explain the importance of the oily layer of the tears.”
“I explain that reflex tearing occurs in dry eye patients routinely, but those are not good tears. Tears are made up of several layers, and if the layers are not in the right proportion, the eyes will still be dry. Therefore, adding the correct regimen will slow or stop the reflex tearing.”

“I show them a photo of lid anatomy and explain how mild changes can cause significant symptoms. A short iPad video would be helpful.”

“I use educational videos and personal verbal explanations. The videos really do a good job.”
“I draw out on paper the different 
layers of the tear film and explain why tearing takes place.”

“I run a dry eye specialty practice. Education is via meibography and 
discussion. I happen to like the 
non-branded brochure by Allergan.”

“I use my LipiScan.”

“Explanation. Two types of tears: one viscous and the other watery, the kind that washes grit out of your eyes. Once the viscous tears can no longer keep the eye moist, the watery tears take over—so your wet eyes are due to dry eye disease.”


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