During the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago,Tarsus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the launch of the “Look at the Lids” disease education campaign for Demodex blepharitis.
Tarsus Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced the launch of the “Look at the Lids” disease education campaign for Demodex blepharitis, a common lid margin disease that can negatively impact patients’ daily activities and eyelid health.
According to a news release from the company, the novel campaign is designed to encourage eye care professionals to screen for Demodex blepharitis in all eye care patients to identify and diagnose the disease sooner.
The campaign is being unveiled at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 Annual Meeting at McCormick Place in Chicago and the American Academy of Optometry (AAOpt) Annual Meeting in San Diego.
“Look at the Lids” features real Demodex blepharitis patients and will include educational tools and resources for eye care professionals, including an informative website (www.LookattheLids.com), social media channels, webinars, launch events, and interactive activities at the Academy conferences.
“We’re thrilled to launch this truly unique disease education campaign for Demodex blepharitis, a pervasive and damaging eye disease that is commonly overlooked,” Aziz Mottiwala, chief commercial officer of Tarsus, said in the news release. “The goal of this campaign is to support eye care professionals so they can confidently and more frequently diagnose patients. Tarsus is committed to elevating eyelid health, and we look forward to bringing more awareness to this disease that negatively impacts so many patients.”
Accoding to the company, approximately 25 million eye care patients in the United States have Demodex blepharitis, a lid margin disease characterized by eyelid inflammation, redness, and ocular irritation. The disease is caused by an infestation of Demodex mites, the most common ectoparasite found on humans. Collarettes, the cylindrical waxy debris composed of mite waste products and eggs on the eyelashes, are the pathognomonic sign of Demodex blepharitis, and can be identified by an eye care professional when a patient looks down during a slit lamp exam. One hundred percent of patients with collarettes have Demodex blepharitis.
“Demodex blepharitis, though extremely common, can masquerade as ocular allergies or dry eye disease since the symptoms are often similar,” said Eric Donnenfeld, MD, Cornea, Laser Cataract & Refractive Surgeon at OCLI Vision in New York. “The disease can be missed unless an eye care professional is specifically looking for the presence of collarettes, the sure sign of Demodexblepharitis.”
Donnenfeld noted in the release that identifying collarettes is a simple step achieved by asking a patient to look down during a routine eye exam.
“I see Demodex in my practice daily, and I am encouraged that there is a campaign that will bring more visibility to this disease and assist other clinicians in their efforts to improve eyelid health,” he said.
At both Academy meetings, “Look at the Lids” will have an interactive exhibit booth featuring a custom photo activation that allows eye care professionals to showcase their commitment to eyelid health by adding their own eyelid photo to a real-time updated video wall. The campaign will also feature launch events and interactive activities, all designed to provide disease education.
“It is remarkable how many patients I discover who have Demodex just by examining their lashes when they look down during a regular eye exam,” said Selina McGee, OD, FAAO, CEO of BeSpoke Vision in Oklahoma. “This disease is often hiding in plain sight, and without properly screening for it, many patients go undiagnosed. Demodex can cause damage and discomfort when left untreated, and I’m excited to be a part of a campaign designed to increase the identification and diagnosis of this very common disease.”
Eye care professionals can subscribe to the Collarette Coalition email list and be the first to receive the latest news and information on Demodex blepharitis at www.LookattheLids.com. The website also allows eye care professionals to submit their own photos and videos to the ‘Lid Gallery.’ Additionally, they can share their own Demodex blepharitis stories with the eye care community on social media by using #LookattheLids and following and tagging @lookatthelids on Instagram and Twitter.
In concert with the campaign – and as part of Tarsus’ commitment to education and innovation in eye care – the company will provide a donation to both the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation.