With nearly 16 million Americans diagnosed with dry eye disease and study results indicating nearly half of the U.S. adult population experience the signs and symptoms of dry eye,1 ODs are rightly focused on adding dry eye clinical care to their offices to serve these patients.
A vital component of dry eye treatment is patient education and patient buy-in to use the specific drops recommended by their doctors, despite the confusion of drugstore aisles marketing generic and store brand drops for everything from redness to itching (both hallmark symptoms of dry eye disease).
On this podcast, we sit down with Claudine Courey, OD, MSc, FAAO, an OD who is embracing dry eye treatment on a new stage—the world of online retail.
Previously by Dr. Lyerly: Dr. New Mom: Planning for baby and returning to work
Gravitating to dry eye
Dr. Courey graduated from the University of Montreal School of Optometry and completed a residency in cornea and contact lenses, followed by a master’s degree focused on scleral contact lenses. She was awarded fellowships by the American Academy of Optometry and the Scleral Lens Society and is board certified to practice in both Canada and the U.S. She sees patients at Bellevue Clinque, anOD/MD practice where she runs a dry eye specialty clinic in Montreal.
Dry eye wasn’t Dr. Courey’s first calling as a practitioner, but as she was fitting specialty contact lenses for patients with keratoconus and corneal abnormalities, she started getting referrals for patients needing scleral lenses for severe dry eye.
“When I began treating them and saw how dry eye impacted their daily lives, and as optometrists we have the ability to make their quality of life so much better, it really hooked me,” she says.
She has seen firsthand how helping people with dry eye can give her career meaning and purpose, whether it’s allowing someone with corneal abnormalities to wear their contact lenses all day long or helping someone comfortably read a book again.
Dr. Courey practices in Quebec, and the scope of practice in this province of Canada recently expanded to include the ability to prescribe for glaucoma. In her dry eye practice, she has access to the same treatment and diagnostic technology that practitioners in the United States have—from meibomian gland imaging to prescribing anti-inflammatories.
Her approach to dry eye treatment focuses around the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) II definition of the disease in which restoring tear film homeostasis is the goal of her dry eye treatment regimen.2 Her practice is focused on ensuring every patient receives a comprehensive assessment of his underlying dry eye risk factors and developing an individualized treatment plan addressing at each component of dry eye the patient is experiencing.
1. Dalton M. Understanding prevalence, demographics of dry eye disease. Ophthalmology Times. Available at: https://www.ophthalmologytimes.com/dry-eye-awareness/understanding-prevalence-demographics-dry-eye-disease. Accessed 9/26/19.
2. Willcox MDP, Argüeso P, Georgiev GA, Holopainen JM, Laurie GW, Millar TJ, Papas EB, Rolland JP, Schmidt TA, Stahl U, Suarez T, Subbaraman LN, Uçakhan OÖ, Jones L. TFOS DEWS II Tear Film Report. Ocul Surf. 2017 Jul;15(3):366-403.
3. Pinto-Bonilla JC, Del Olmo-Jimeno A, Llovet-Osuna F, Hernández-Galilea E. A randomized crossover study comparing trehalose/hyaluronate eyedrops and standard treatment: patient satisfaction in the treatment of dry eye syndrome. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2015 Apr 13;11:595-603.
4. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=349&showFR=1. Accessed 9/27/19.