Pearls and recommendations
Dry eye is a chronic and progressive disease that can eventually cause corneal damage, discomfort, and visual impairment.7 Ask questions and review personal and familial history for known dry eye triggers. Always look for dry eye in patients of all ages, even if you are not expecting it to be present. The sooner ODs can identify and treat the disease, the better for young patients.
Do not be averse to treating pediatric patients and allow them to take ownership of their health. Talk directly to them with the parent overhearing the conversation versus working around the child and going straight to the parent. Explain and show children how to wash around their eyes, apply lid solutions, and to be mindful to close their eyes while washing their faces. Set up pediatric patients (and their parents) to have a positive treatment experience, and consequently better compliance, by using proper drop instillation techniques and gentle products.
Be willing to accept rejection. Sometimes as eyecare providers, ODs are concerned that their patients will not agree to do what they recommend, but ODs still need to have these conversations and provide families with education about the disease. Eventually, they may circle back around and return for treatment.
A “no” to treatment does not mean “never.”
Dr. Hauser is the founder and senior consultant for Signal Ophthalmic Consulting and founder and CEO of DryEyeCoach.com. She serves as an advisory board member for TearLab and Paragon BioTeck. She consults or speaks for Johson & Johnson Vision, Shire, Lumenis, Allergan, Alcon, Bruder Medical, BioTissue, Sight Sciences, Eyevance, Kala, Sun Pharma, BlephEx, ScienceBased Health, Oculus, and Bausch + Lomb. In her free time she likes to scout out espresso spots and hang out with her three kids.
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