The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Abstract: They get it

...In some degree, anyway. Doctors know that current dry eye treatments aren't necessarily cutting it. My only comment on this is to question whether these doctors are employing exclusively therapeutic pharmaceutical agents or are employing additional lifestyle modifications and consumer products to manage dry eye.

At the end of the day, what helps people most?

The drugs? (Restasis, steroids, azasite, doxy)

The drops & goop? (artificial tears, ointments, the few lubricants that actually work)

The gear? (moisture goggles, moisture chambers during day)

The lid treatments? (compresses, lid scrubs)

Dietary change?

Lifestyle change?

Bits and pieces of all of the above?

Ophthalmologist perceptions regarding treatment of moderate to severe dry eye: results of a physician survey.
Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2009 Dec;107:205-10.
Asbell PA, Spiegel S.

Department of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.
PURPOSE: To understand ophthalmologists' current perceptions and treatment of patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome (DED).

METHODS: An online survey was distributed to 7,882 ophthalmologists, including 51 corneal specialists, throughout the United States from October 9 to 21, 2008. The response rate was 3.1% (n = 245), typical for this type of survey. Those who treated 4 or more patients with moderate to severe DED per month (235 of 245 [96%]) were asked to complete the survey.

RESULTS: Ninety-four percent of respondents agreed that more treatment options are needed for moderate to severe DED. Corneal specialists were more likely to strongly agree (63%) than general ophthalmologists (54%). Only 33% overall felt that current therapies were extremely or very effective for moderate DED, and only 5% for severe disease. Ninety-two percent agreed that multiple therapeutic agents are needed to manage moderate to severe DED. The respondents reported prescribing, recommending, or suggesting a mean of 3.2 different treatment approaches over the course of a year for patients with moderate DED and 4.9 for patients with severe DED. The most highly ranked goals in treatment of moderate to severe DED were maintaining and protecting the ocular surface (ranked 1 or 2 by 74%) and lubricating and hydrating the ocular surface (ranked 1 or 2 by 67%). Corneal specialists ranked maintaining and protecting the ocular surface even higher (ranked 1 or 2 by 82%).

CONCLUSIONS: Results reflected the difficulty of treating more serious moderate to severe cases, the importance of using multiple treatment approaches, the limitations of current treatment options, and the need for additional treatment options.
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