Dry eye disease (DED) is a common chronic condition that can cause significant discomfort for patients. Recent research suggests that about 4.88 million people in the US aged 50 and above have DED; three million of whom are women, while men comprise 1.66 million. In some cases, patients may have a combination of two or more dry eye symptoms, which can cause untold distress to them.
As an eye healthcare professional, you have likely encountered challenges when treating the condition. Worry not, because, in this brief overview, we highlight the exact reasons why dry eyes are difficult to treat and offer working solutions for your patients.
Reasons Why Dry Eye Is Difficult To Treat
The cause of the condition
One of the main reasons treating dry eye remains a challenge lies in the various causes of the condition. A recent study suggests that there are at least six different causes for this disease, rendering it one of the most complex ophthalmic conditions. Failure to identify an underlying cause of the symptoms can lead to missed or wrong diagnoses.
The severity of dry eye symptoms
In most cases, it becomes significantly difficult to treat DED due to the severity of each patient’s symptoms. These DED symptoms vary but can include itching, burning sensation in the eye, light sensitivity, and abnormal secretion of tears. They can impede the treatment process, especially when they are serious.
Lack of access to advanced technology
The FDA does not mandate vision care providers to use all available technologies for diagnosing and treating dry eye. Therefore, most optometrists only use simple equipment such as a slit lamp and tear break-up time tests to diagnose the condition. In treatment, they tend to use artificial tears. Although this is the least expensive option, it lacks the effectiveness required to treat the condition compellingly.
Solutions for your patients
Considering the above factors that make it hard to treat DED, here are tips to apply to your patients.
1. Relieve symptoms. The first action you must take is to relieve your patient’s symptoms so that they can proceed with treatment.
2. Recommend prescription eyewear and lenses. Although artificial tears are the cheapest treatment, some patients may find them ineffective. Therefore, you can use other alternatives such as prescription eyewear and lenses for severe cases of DED.
3. Use advanced technology to diagnose the cause of dry eye. Advanced technology such as tear osmolarity tests can help you determine the exact cause of your symptoms. These advanced tests are expensive, but they give you a clear picture of the condition and help you to diagnose your patient.
You need to employ top-shelf treatment and diagnostic equipment to treat your patients. Prescription eyewear and lenses have proven to be among the most effective ways of treating the condition. Additionally, they are affordable for most patients and can significantly relieve their DED symptoms.
At Allentown Optical, we provide a wide range of prescription eyewear and lens products and services that can help you successfully treat your patients. Our business is located in Allentown, PA, and we serve customers throughout Pennsylvania and across the United States. Contact us today to learn how our products can help you.