Dry eye and ocular surface disease are a core part of optometrists’ practices. This condition influences the outcome of everything they do—it can devastate vision, change refractions, cause patients to drop out of lens wear, and lead to infections and corneal scarring.
This month’s podcast guest Chandra Mickles, OD, MSc, FAAO, FSLS, is an associate professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry and the dry eye service coordinator on campus.
She is passionate about educating the next generation of optometrists about the importance of treating even the earliest stages of dry eye and exploring new technology that can improve a patient’s day to day vision and comfort experience.
Dr. Mickles teaches a specialty contact lens course and provides patient care at the school in both the Dry Eye Center and specialty contact lens departments. She also serves as a consultant for Alcon and Johnson and Johnson Vision, and lectures and publishes research on cornea, contact lens, and ocular surface disease.
Previously by Dr. Lyerly: What ODs need to know about YAG laser vitreolysis for floaters
Interest in research
"My ultimate goal in research for patient care is to improve outcomes for contact lens and ocular surface disease patients,” says Dr. Mickles.
Most of her research is investigator initiated—she will apply for a grant or propose a research project to a financial backer aimed at providing data she hopes will help doctors make decisions to improve patient outcomes.
With so many challenges facing patients, Dr. Mickles is working on several upcoming and ongoing research studies aimed at practically impacting day-to-day patient care.
Up next, she is participating in a multicenter trial looking at digitally induced dry eye in children. It focuses on video game playing and how it affects blink rate and dry eye.
She is also part of a contact lens assessment and use group study looking at risk factors associated with red eyes and exploring a new educational tool to determine which patients are most at risk for red eye and how doctors can best educate these at-risk patients.
One such project that she participated in has made a big impact on her prescribing philosophies when it comes to specialty contact lenses. Knowing that contact lens discomfort is one of the primary reasons that patients drop out of contact lens wear,1 Dr. Mickles is motivated to discover new technology solutions that keep her patients wearing contact lenses, especially for patients who need specialty contact lenses when glasses correction would reduce their visual function.
Dr. Mickles worked with Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA, and Jennifer Harthan, OD, FAAO, FSLS, on a double-masked, randomized, multicenter research study looking at the impact of Tangible Hydra-PEG coating on patient comfort in scleral lens wear. The study was presented at the 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium.2
Also by Dr. Lyerly: First impressions of Acuvue Oasys with Transitionsn contact lenses
1. Aldridge C. Breaking the cycle of contact lens dropout. CL Spectrum. Available at: https://www.clspectrum.com/issues/2015/november-2015/breaking-the-cycle-.... Accessed 7/25/19.
2. Mickles C, Harthan J, Barnett M. A surface treatment solution for scleral lens wearers with dry eye. Tangible Science. Available at: https://tangiblescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Final-GSLS-2019-M.... Accessed 7/25/19.