From Dry Eye to Surgery

October 15, 2005

Because diseases and disorders of the cornea can significantly impair patient quality of life, ophthalmologists need to be aware of new strategies to manage dry eye disease and improve outcomes in surgical cases.

Chicago-Because diseases and disorders of the cornea can significantly impair patient quality of life, ophthalmologists need to be aware of new strategies to manage dry eye disease and improve outcomes in surgical cases. Speakers at a CME breakfast symposium at the Palmer House Hilton on Saturday discussed topics such as a new management algorithm for dry eye, also known as dysfunctional tear film, and practical applications for managing various patient types.

“Not all dry eyes are dry,” said Peter J. McDonnell, MD, Wilmer Eye Institute, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Some do have aqueous deficiency, while others have mucin or lipid problems or abnormal tear composition.

“The names that we use alter how we perceive these things,” he added, explaining the need to come up with a better term than “dry eye.”

A Delphi Panel of international dry eye experts proposed not only a new name but also a classification system and outline of severity levels, all intended to help physicians better understand the complexity of the condition and manage it appropriately.

“There will be more therapies in the near future, and we need to determine which patients get what and in what order,” Dr. McDonnell said.

In presentations and panel discussions, the speakers also evaluated anti-infective and anti-inflammatory strategies for improving surgical outcomes, medical therapy for corneal health, and approaches when implanting multifocal and accommodating IOLs.

Besides Dr. McDonnell, the faculty included Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, moderator and program chairman; Michael S. Conners, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Terrence P. O’Brien, MD, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Palm Beach; and Kerry D. Solomon, MD, Storm Eye Institute, Medical College of South Carolina, Charleston.

The program was jointly sponsored by Ophthalmology Times and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Allergan.