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Thinking “outside the eye” may be just what the doctor ordered

“Think outside the box” became a popular catchphrase meaning to think of a new, innovative concept. Now, eye doctors are “thinking outside the eye” by treating patients with dry eye disease. 

When one considers the traditional options for dry eye care, drops are the first treatments that come to mind.  Most commonly, artificial tears are recommended. In fact, 72% of people with dry eye complaints leave their doctor’s offices with artificial tears as their one and only source of relief. Unfortunately, many of those patients want more than an over-the-counter remedy that many have already tried before. Some people receive more ophthalmic options like Restasis (Allergan Plc, Irvine, CA) or Xiidra (Shire Plc, Lexington, MA). Both drugs can help with dry eye complaints even though they work differently on the eye to provide benefit. Other patients may have punctal plugs inserted to increase the tear reservoir in the eye. All of these treatments offer different benefits for the dry eye patient, but each works within a classic eye care framework.

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Whitney Hauser
Associate Editor, Dry Eye for I'm Whitney Hauser, OD, founder of and it's an honor to join the team as editor of the dry eye section. The art and science of dry eye disease make it particularly social media-friendly. With so many different approaches to care, doctors can share what works and what hasn't in their practices. The absolutely wrong way to treat dry eye is to not treat it at all.

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