C52466: Lifting the lid on dry eye practice

Over the remainder of the year, Craig McArthur looks at the range of cases seen when providing a specialised dry eye management service. (C52466, one distance learning CET point for optometrists, contact lens opticians and therapeutic optometrists)

Dry eye disease (DED) is a complex, multifactorial diseased instigated by inadequate tear production and/or rapid tear film evaporation as a result of a multitude of risk factors including ageing, reduced androgen levels, exogenous oestrogen use, dietary imbalance, inflammatory disease, environmental factors and gender (females at higher risk).1-2

DED causes ocular discomfort, fatigue and visual disturbance which, in turn, interfere with the daily activities of individuals and thus negatively impact on their physical and mental functions.3-4 Subsequently DED symptoms have been shown to adversely impact on quality of life.5 Health utility indexing reports moderate-to-severe dry eyes at a similar level to moderate-to-severe angina.6 According to the World Health Organisation the prevalence of depression, already the fourth largest contributor to global disease burden7 is expected to increase.8 Depressive mood and depressive mood disorder have been associated with various systemic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases,9 metabolic disorders10 and obesity11 and more recently population-based studies have also indicated a statistically significant association between DED and depression and anxiety.11-17 The effect of DED is often underestimated by practitioners despite this.

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