We all realize that vision starts with our tear film.
It is the first refractive surface that is involved with the eventual focus of light on to the retina. Interest in the impact of the ocular surface on vision and comfort has greatly increased over the past number of years. Initially, we concentrated our concerns upon ocular comfort but we have become far more aware of visual impact that an unstable tear film can have. Optometry has actually taken “ownership” of ocular surface disease and dry eye management. This could not be more apparent when we consider the fact that about 60% of prescriptions written for the relatively new dry eye drug Xiidra is written by optometrists! The numbers written for Restasis are also quite impressive. My discussions with industry folks in this space at national meetings and advisory board meetings all confirm the fact that optometry is the leading profession when it comes to addressing ocular surface disease and dry eye. However, don’t get too comfortable, ophthalmology is catching on! At recent OMD meetings reports are coming out that they need to jump into this huge portion of the eye care industry. Optometry needs to keep its leading position. This can be achieved by staying on top of research and developments in technologies that relate to dry eye and ocular surface disease.
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Great article, Dr Eiden! It was an honor for me to be at ICO with you! I agree with your sage thoughts indeed. There’s a DryEye Sandstorm (somehow tsunami seemed the wrong image 😉 on the horizon and the more confident we are collectively in addressing this quality of vision and quality of life impacting Disease the better service we will be to our dear patients. (Enhanced job satisfaction is a nice bonus too ;).
It was an exciting meeting and honored to be a part of it. You all did optometry proud..