Opportunities are increasing for optical practices providing dry eye treatment as more patients present with symptoms that cause them pain and discomfort. Exhibitors told Optician that living with the disease can be debilitating and eye care professionals were best placed to discuss hygiene routines to soothe symptoms. A range of products were showcased at 100% Optical, which included drops, gels, sprays and compresses.

Regime relief

Théa Pharmaceuticals launched Zaspray, a three-in-one, preservative-free spray that is designed to relieve itchy and dry eyes caused by allergies. The spray has been specifically designed to hydrate, lubricate and soothe the eyes with a formula that protects the eye tissue and improves tear film stability, the company said.

Théa told Optician: ‘Zaspray fills a gap we were missing in our dry eye range. We’ve had innovative drops and gels but we wanted to develop a spray because a lot of patients struggle with drops. Zaspray has been designed specifically for allergy, which can cause dry and itchy eyes. It’s perfect for hayfever flare ups, for example. It has sodium hyaluronate and liposomes, which help to repair the lipid layer so tears don’t evaporate as easily. It also has perilla seed extract, which is a natural antioxidant.’

Théa supported eye care professionals by making it easier for them to have conversations with patients about dry eye. ‘We focus on cleanse, hydrate and nourish as a regime. Optometrists can speak about lid hygiene routines, drops to hydrate and nutritional products to support eye health. For Théa, it’s about making it easier for them to have that conversation and explain that regime.’

Complete cycle

Positive Impact showcased a range of dry eye disease products that completed its cycle of care for patients. The cycle included heat, massage, cleanse, antimicrobial, hydrate and supplements. The company showcased the Eye Doctor antibacterial eye compress, which uses BodyBeads self-hydrating technology that absorbed moisture from the air to deliver moist heat that penetrates deeper into the eyelids. Positive Impact’s DemEx foaming cleaner was also on display, which it said was effective against two strains of Demodex. Purifeyes introduced a new level of patient care and increased compliance, the company said. It can be applied by simply closing the eyes and spraying to reduce bacterial load on lids and lashes.

Adele Peacock, contact lens optician and professional affairs consultant at Positive Impact, told Optician: ‘We’re an independent business supporting independent opticians. We are a one-stop shop to support an optical practice. More patients are coming into practice with dry eyes because of masks, plus patients are working on computers more so they get dry eyes from staring at screens and from being indoors more because they’re working from home. Dry eye is on the rise. Optical practices have a duty of care to look after their patient’s ocular health. Whether you get a sale out of them or not, you have to help that person.’

Strength in solutions

Avizor showcased three different strength Lacrifresh drops for patients living with varying discomfort and severity of dry eye disease. Bhavin Ahya, national sales manager at Avizor, told Optician: ‘We have three strengths of sodium hyaluronate based products; 0.3%, 0.2% and 0.1%, which covers mild, moderate to severe dry eye. The 0.3% has a thick viscosity so it will last longer on the eye, around four hours. There’s nothing else on the market that is this strong and that low in salt,’ he said.

The recently launched Ozean was also on display, which Avizor said is a completely natural product, with no sodium hyaluronate in it. Ahya said it was suitable for people with mild cases of dry eye. ‘This helps with tired eyes if you’ve been sat in front of a screen all day and to stabilise the tear film,’ he added.

Ahya said there was an opportunity for optical practices to help patients living with dry eye as more people are presenting with the disease. ‘A lot of opticians now have dry eye clinics so it is talked about a lot more since the DEWSII report. The DEQ-5 questionnaire is something patients can fill out in practice before they see the optician and it’ll point them in the direction of which product will work for them,’ he explained.

Layer replacement

Scope Eyecare showcased three products for patients living with dry eye disease and blepharitis, including its Optase Tea Tree Oil Gel, Optase Protect spray and Hycosan Shield eye drops. Its tea tree oil gel is a preservative-free eye lid cleanser for daily eye lid hygiene. Recently launched by Scope was Optase Protect, a triple action, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spray that provides daily control of germs that live on the eyelids and surrounding skin. Scope said it is a preservative-free, pH balanced hypochlorous acid solution that kills 99.9999% of known germs. Hycosan Shield was also showcased by Scope, which it said is an innovative eye drop that contains a molecule new to the UK market. It contains 100% perflurohexyloctane, which Scope said offers complete layer replacement.

At home solution

Essilor Instruments launched Activa Home Eye Mask by SBM Sistemi, which uses heated automatic massage technology for patients to use at home. The mask heats and massages the eye lids, generating heat of approximately 42 degrees for 15 minutes while applying a micro-vibration-based massage, the company said.

Paul Cumber, Essilor Instruments director, said: ‘Activa Home Eye Mask offers a new way for patients to relieve dry eye symptoms at home and helps independent optical practices expand their dry eye offering to improve patient satisfaction. The effectiveness of IRPL treatments such as TearStim can be enhanced by using the Eye Mask to help unblock the meibomian glands and give quicker, short-term relief, and IRPL can then be used to provide longer lasting benefits.’

Essilor explained that the procedure produced controlled heat that helped unclog the debris of the meibomian glands on the edge of the eyelids and softened the secretion. It also relieved swollen and irritated eyelids due to blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, styes and chalazion.