Communication, key to collaboration for the treatment of dry eye



March 23, 2021

1 minute read

Source / Disclosures


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

Disclosures: Brissette reports that she is an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Matossian reports that she is the Founder and Medical Director of Matossian Eye Associates, President of the American College of Eye Surgeons, Vice President of the New York Intraocular Lens Implant Society and Director of Development of Women in Ophthalmology. Tonk reports that he is an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology and medical director at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Periman reports that she founded Periman Eye Institute.

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

For many practitioners, the main goal of dry eye treatment is to repair it, but dry eye is a chronic disease with no single solution. Because it is difficult to treat and patients have very different therapeutic responses, there is a “bit of reluctance” to accept these patients in practice, Ashley Brissette, MD, M.Sc., FRCSC, noted.

Communication is one of the keys to successful dry eye treatment. Many patients have visited multiple eye care offices without being satisfied. Even if there is no cure, there may be a solution and communication that can motivate patients to follow recommendations and promote treatment adherence, Cynthia Matossian, MD, FACS, noted. Often, just listening makes all the difference.

Education is another key to successful dry eye treatment. According to Brissette, having a dry eye educator can empower patients.

“Having someone sit down with a patient and show them exactly how to scrub their eyelids or exactly how to contrast or put a drop in their eye has been a complete game-changer for the practice, and the patient is truly grateful. ” she said. “It’s something so new to them.”

A final key to successful treatment is collaboration. Rahul S. Tonk, MD, MBA, suggested becoming less paternalistic about dry eye care, simplifying diagnoses, and being scientific as far as understandable. All of these things make patients feel like they are playing an active role in their eye care.

“Do you think, slow down, watch carefully and plan with the patient” Laura Periman, MD, noted. “That’s what it boils down to.”

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