The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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ASCRS 2007

I ran a small exhibit for The Dry Eye Shop at ASCRS in San Diego last weekend. It was a completely different experience this year than last. Thought I'd share some of the highlights.

EYE ECO / NEW PRODUCTS

The Teeny Bikini: This is totally darling. It's basically a snap-on fabric covering for the Tranquileyes goggle, that literally makes it look like a bikini top (as opposed to a goggle...). I think it will probably also extend the life of the foam liners on the goggle as well.

Tranquileyes "clear" (yet to be christened...) This is the most exciting thing coming down the pipeline right now... Eyewear that you can wear at a computer without looking like a geek!!! It's hard to describe. It's basically a flexible clear plastic sort of thing in front, with a soft fabric strap just like the sleep mask - but I'm told that it will also be offered with glasses-like earpieces. The front part fits closely to the eyes, and can optionally be lined with foam. This product will not be available till late summer and I was just looking at a prototype, so I don't have all the details, but it's supposed to be possible to wear it underneath glasses. I think what Suzanne's trying to do here is make computer eyewear HIP. I cannot wait for the final product....


OTHER EYEWEAR


This time last year no one seemed to have a clue that we NEED eyewear for dry eye. This year, I had three different companies come by and tell me about products they're working on, some of which had prototypes already available. One was a soft flexible rubber shield around glasses that reminds me of the Eaglevision 'moist eye moisture panel' but is opaque and nicer in some ways. However, it only comes with THEIR glasses - you can't fit it onto your own. Another company is working on some Panoptx-type things at a much lower pricepoint. Also, I came across a surgical eye guard - I suppose it's a high-end version of what I had to wear for a few nights after LASIK years ago - that I think could just be a decent cheap TRANSPARENT sleep mask for those who find Tranquileyes too expensive and/or want to be able to see when they wake up in the middle of the night.

MEIBOMIAN GLAND DISEASE AWARENESS

This was my very first time exhibiting our non-eyedrop products at a medical meeting and I thoroughly enjoyed it because it gave me far more, and better, opportunities to talk to ophthalmologists and technicians about dry eye. In particular, I had The Rice Baggy on display which gave me a chance to get onto my favorite topic of meibomian gland dysfunction. The responses were SO varied... from the young fellow in the Bay area who described himself as a "squeezer" to several other visitors who gave me blank stares when I first started talking about warm compresses. I was encouraged that many visitors already advise their patients to use warm compresses, and also encouraged that many who don't are, I think, now seriously going to consider it.

LASIK

Hot button for many of us with dry eye. At a refractive surgery conference, obviously the majority of the attendees do LASIK or are in a practice that does. I was kind of amused that many of them - especially high-end clinics in SoCal - are looking at offering Tranquileyes in their postop kits. I just hope they're also paying close attention to dry eye symptoms before lasik.

I met Dr. Craig Berger, who is running a service that stores information about your lasik procedure so that when the time comes for cataract or other surgery, it's available to you without trying to track down a laser clinic (which may have changed names... been bought out... entered chapter 11... or whatever) to get your records. I think this is a great idea and that it's a useful service.

LEITER'S

I finally got a chance to meet Chuck Leiter (Leiter's pharmacy in San Jose). Always fascinated me, because their business is at such an interesting crossroads of information - they have a finger in most emerging dry eye technologies and so they have a good sense of what's working and what's not. In addition, they compound a lot of UNpreserved versions of topical ophthalmic drugs, so I picked up a list of what they can do.

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Whoops - days are passing and I see I don't manage to get this finished (still trying to find the rest of my notes!) so I'll go ahead and post it so as to move on to some other things.
RebeccaComment