Diagnosing and managing patients with dry eye disease in its earliest stages is key to minimising – and even halting – disease progression. This can be achieved with simple screening and diagnostic tools, supported by basic therapies and patient education. Yet according to dry eye specialists at Designs for Vision, some practices are hesitant about delving into dry eye disease management because they perceive the need to heavily invest in a suite of equipment.
“Dry eye disease effects so many people; one third of adults, and over half of people aged over 50 years live with the disease. Without ongoing disease management, they are at risk of reduced quality of life,” said Raelene Gauld, who recently joined Designs for Vision as a product manager responsible for the dry eye portfolio.
Women are twice as likely to experience symptoms of dry eye disease as men; and people with diabetes and glaucoma also have a higher risk (40%). Importantly, there are less obvious causes, such as the use of CPAP masks (due to air escaping), the wearing of masks due to COVID-19, and constant use of digital devices. “Basic lifestyle advice, like taking breaks from the screen, maintaining lid hygiene, and applying drops and gels will relieve symptoms for most of these people,” said Ms Gauld.
Recognising the need to support practices operating at all levels in dry eye management, Designs for Vision has established a dedicated ocular surface health team with sales representatives in Sydney (Ms Gauld), Brisbane (Nicki Bergiel), Melbourne (Rebecca Sail) and Perth (George Kacurkov).
Additionally, the company has expanded its portfolio to offer solutions and support for managing mild to severe ocular surface disease.
“Within our portfolio, we have screening and diagnosis tools, such as the Oculus Keratograph 5; a range of lid hygiene, heat and moisture therapies, topical drops and gels for the management of symptoms, as well as IRPL equipment for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction,” said Ms Gauld.
“For clinicians managing aqueous deficient dry eye, we have punctum plugs, and for complex cases, amniotic membrane therapy is available through the Therapeutic Goods Administration Special Access Scheme.”