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AOA newsletter focuses on DED

August 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


The August issue of the American Optometric Association’s CLCS newsletter is devoted to ocular surface and dry eye disease, reflecting how the optometric community is now starting to embrace dry eye disease.

Contact Lens and Cornea Section chairman LaMar Zigler, pointing to the value of building a dry eye diagnosis and treatment specialty center within an optometry practice, said that “as optometrists, we should own this specialty in eye care. We are uniquely qualified and trained in all areas relating to ocular surface disease therapy. As contact lens practitioners, we should also be experts in dry eye disease management,” he added.

“It’s time to stop ignoring the dry eyes that we see each day and begin helping our patients who suffer from this chronic disease,” Dr. Zigler said. “Remember, the most frequent cause of contact lens failure is dry eye and discomfort.”

Dry eye is one of the most commonly encountered conditions in the clinical practice of optometry. DED can be a very challenging disease to manage because a patient’s subjective complaints of burning, watering, stinging, foreign body sensation, grittiness and fluctuating vision may not always correlate to objective testing, especially in mild dry eye conditions.

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The TearLab (NASDAQ:TEAR; TSX:TLB) Osmolarity System is now widely seen as the single best test for the diagnosis of DED, which affects some 100 million people worldwide. In mild-to-moderate forms, it can reduce the quality of vision and the ability to go about daily activities.  In its more severe forms, DED can lead to permanent loss of vision.

Optometrist Michael Mayers, writing in the CLCS newsletter, said tear osmolarity testing has been identified as one of the best single markers for detecting dry eye disease as research has demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity in mild-to-moderate dry eye patients.

“We can now test tear osmolarity in our office with TearLab,” optometrist and past CLCS chairman Jack Schaeffer said, adding that “the newest dry eye definition from the International Dry Eye Workshop includes osmolarity.”

The full AOA newsletter articles can be accessed here:

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