Communication, collaboration key for dry eye treatment

Communication, collaboration key for dry eye treatment


March 23, 2021

1 min read


Brissette A, et al. Dry eye outlook panel – clinical perspective. Presented at: OIS Dry Eye Innovation Showcase; March 11, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Brissette reports she is an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Matossian reports she is the founder and medical director of Matossian Eye Associates, president of the American College of Eye Surgeons, vice president of New York Intraocular Lens Implant Society and director of development for Women in Ophthalmology. Tonk reports he is an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology and medical director at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Periman reports she founded Periman Eye Institute.

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The bottom line to treating patients with dry eye disease is communication, education and collaboration, according to panelists at the OIS Dry Eye Innovation Showcase.

For many practitioners, a main goal when treating dry eye is to fix it, but dry eye disease is a chronic condition with no one solution. Because it is difficult to treat and patients have vastly different therapeutic responses, there is a “bit of hesitancy” in accepting these patients into practices, Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC, said.

One key for successful dry eye treatment is communication. Many patients have gone to multiple eye care practices without satisfaction. Even though there is no cure, there can be a solution, and communicating that can inspire patients to follow recommendations and promotes treatment adherence, Cynthia Matossian, MD, FACS, said. Many times, just listening makes a difference.

Another key for successful dry eye treatment is education. Having a dry eye educator can empower patients, according to Brissette.

“Having somebody sit with a patient and show them exactly how to do an eyelid scrub or exactly how to do a contrast or to put a drop in their eye has been a complete game changer for the practice, and the patient is really appreciative,” she said. “This is something so new for them.”

A final key for successful treatment is collaboration. Rahul S. Tonk, MD, MBA, suggested becoming less paternalistic about dry eye care, simplifying diagnostics and being scientific to the extent that is understandable. All of these things allow patients to feel like they are taking an active role in their eye care.

“Lean in, slow down, look carefully and plan together with the patient,” Laura Periman, MD, said. “That’s what it boils down to.”


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