AOA 2024: Managing ocular pain and what it means for patient care


Jade Coats, OD, alongside Jacqueline Theis, OD, FAAO, and Cory Lappin, OD, MS, FAAO, gave a talk on ocular pain and patient care at AOA's 2024 Optometry's Meeting.

Ocular pain and its treatment and referral can vary greatly from one patient to another. Jade Coats, OD, alongside Jacqueline Theis, OD, FAAO, and Cory Lappin, OD, MS, FAAO, differentiated some of the factors of pain and what the best plan of action may be for these patients in a talk given at AOA's Optometry's Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, running from June 19-22.

Video transcript

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

Jade Coats, OD:

Hi my name is Jade Coats and I practice at McDonald Eye Associates in northwest Arkansas. Today I'm really excited to lecture at AOA with Dr. Cory Lappin and Dr. Jacqueline Theis as we review managing ocular pain in our patients, patients acutely in need. And for us what this means is we really need to dive to the root of the issue, addressing dry eye as soon and as quickly as possible to prevent neurotrophic pain, which may lead to other neuropathic pain. And so for us, what we're going to provide is maybe different perspectives. From an OD/MD perspective, a dry eye center perspective, and a neuro perspective. And all of these perspectives are going to help us maybe clue you into the different correct options to treat pain across the board.

So in my clinic, I typically see more pain that might result from an acute trauma. And so my pain is very, very differently treated, then maybe something a type of pain seen in Dr. Theis's clinic, or Dr. Lappin's clinic. Their version of pain may be something that could be more associated with the ocular surface. And so that's what we're here trying to highlight is that although we're seeing patients who are complaining of "pain," they may be very, very different, how they're referred, how they're interpreted by the brain, and how we treat them.

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