Proper diagnosis effective for dry eye therapy

June 1, 2010

A new golden age is here: the Golden Age of Dry Eye Management, according to one optometrist.

"We have large numbers of individuals from the baby boomer generation who are entering the dry eye time in their lives, and there's a greater awareness of dry eye in the first place, even with younger people," said Dr. Schachet, Eyecare Consultants-Vision Source, Englewood, CO. "We not only have the opportunity to dramatically help our patients, but also to own this segment of the marketplace."

Dr. Schachet said that with growing awareness of dry eye disease has come growing knowledge and changing paradigms, along with a new name: ocular surface disease.

The new paradigm begins with determining the etiology. The two major types of dry eye are aqueous deficient and evaporative. A correct diagnosis is essential to establish the proper therapy.

"If you don't have the proper diagnosis in the first place it doesn't matter what you do," Dr. Schachet said. "There's no way to 'shotgun' this and be effective."

Make the proper diagnosis

According to Dr. Schachet, history is the key to making the proper diagnosis. He recommended including these questions:

"Listen to the patient," Dr. Schachet said. "Covering key points in a thorough history will help you determine where to go with your testing."