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AAOpt 2023: What's new in dry eye?


Lisa Hornick, OD, MBA, FAAO, chats about her AAOpt presentations, "Dry Eye Jeopardy" and "Sunny with a Chance of Tears of Tears: What's in the Forecast for Ocular Surface Dryness Therapies."

At the 2023 American Academy of Optometry (AAOpt) Meeting, Lisa Hornick, OD, MBA, FAAO, presented 2 talks: "Dry Eye Jeopardy" and "Sunny with a Chance of Tears of Tears: What's in the Forecast for Ocular Surface Dryness Therapies." She discusses key takeaways here.

Video transcript

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Emily Kaiser Maharjan, assistant managing editor:
Hi, everyone. I'm Emily Kaiser Maharjan with Optometry Times, and I'm sitting down with Dr. Lisa Hornick, who co-presented, "Dry Eye Jeopardy," and "Sunny with a Chance of Tears: What's in the Forecast for Ocular Surface Dry Eye Therapies," at the American Academy of Optometry Meeting in New Orleans. Welcome, Dr. Hornick. I'm so glad you could join us.

Lisa Hornick, OD, MBA, FAAO:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Of course. So first, can you tell us a little bit about the presentations?

Absolutely. So we wanted to do something a little bit different this year and make it really fun and interactive. So I was actually inspired by Dry Eye Jeopardy by an MBA class that I did. And in that class, we decided to make it more interactive and a little more competitive. And so we decided to take a topic—it was actually a technology, innovation, and strategy topic—and we made it into a Jeopardy game. And I thought, "How perfect would this be for an Academy small group presentation, and it would just make it different, fun, and unique." So that's how the Dry Eye Jeopardy idea came out.

So it's something I'm doing with Melissa Barnett, and it's an actual Jeopardy game, just like the real TV show. So we're having different questions. And a couple different categories, about 5 different categories. The questions range from easy to more challenging. Of course, you get more points, you know, or more money when you get the more challenging questions. And we actually are going to keep track and keep score, and there will be a winner with a prize at the end. So really looking forward to that one.

The "Sunny with a Chance of Tears," is really going to be fun as well, because Tracy Doll decided to do a weather theme. And it's just it's really fun. So each topic that we go over has a little bit of a weather theme to it. I don't want to give too much away. But we are different seasons, all of us. And we're different newscasters kind of thing. And Tracy is going to be our moderator. So that's going to be another little fun, unique twist, just to make things more interactive and exciting.

Kaiser Maharjan:
That sounds absolutely fantastic. And so, so fun. So what are some key takeaway points that you're hoping to drive home?

So especially with the one the "Sunny with a Chance of Tears," so the key takeaway there is that there are so many new innovations in the dry eye space, it's a really exciting time for dry eye therapies right now. And we're gonna go over, you know, all the new FDA medications that have been approved or about to be approved this year. We're gonna go over updates in medical devices, and maybe some, you know, kind of treatments that you weren't even thinking you could do as an optometrist. You know, so, going into dry eyes, but then maybe there's a little aesthetic kind of side effect to them as well. So we're going to be going over all the new, the latest, the greatest.

It's really important, because, you know, before we just didn't have that much for dry eye. We had artificial tears, warm compresses, maybe Restasis, and that was it as far as, you know, pharmaceutical options. But now there are so many new tools in our toolbox. And it's really exciting. We just want to make sure all of our optometrists are up to date with the new innovations.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Yeah, wonderful. So how can optometrists leverage this information to better their practices?

Yeah, so it's just so nice now that we have all these different options. Because we know that dry eye disease is multifactorial. There's usually not just one cause of the problem, and so there's usually not just one solution to the problem. So now we have different ways that we can treat it. And the really exciting part is that we can make it more personalized for our patients, and tailor our treatment options and our therapy options to their specific needs. So for example, before, with Demodex blepharitis, you know, we only had our lid hygiene, our lid cleansers, tea tree oil, things like that, but now we have a new FDA approved medication for them. So we want to make sure that everybody knows that we can specifically tailor personalized medicine to our patients. So a really exciting time in dry eye.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Absolutely. So kind of building off of that, what do you think the future of dry eye will look like?

The future of dry eye is really exciting. It's very bright. We have, again, so many new options, and things that are going to take our patients, you know, from just treating the symptoms, to helping to treat the root cause of their problem. So really getting at solving problems for them, and things that are going to take them and just be life-changing. A lot of our dry eye patients, they have a decreased quality of life, they might actually have symptoms of depression and anxiety. So you know, we want to make sure that we're really taking care of them, and we want to be life-changing for them.

I think also the future of dry eye is going to be more holistic. So we're going to be looking at things like sleep, exercise, definitely nutrition. There's a lot of exciting changes in the nutrition space right now. So those are just a couple of things to look out for in the future of dry eye treatments.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat today, and it's been so great hearing about these AAOpt presentations, and I can't wait to hear more.

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