Dry eye redefined

I get it, and I want to share with you why I am so excited that dry eye has been redefined. You might be perplexed over my excitement in a new “definition,” yes it might seem irrelevant to have a word or two changed in a definition, but this rather nonsense, trivial thing is exciting because it is critical and I get it!

To you, the skeptical OD out there, I challenge you to come huff and puff, but you will not blow down my excitement. Yes, I know I am talking about that stupid, pesky problem that keeps patients away from contacts, creates discomfort while reading Facebook on your phone, incites irritation and ruins surgical outcomes, even for cataracts.

You might think ”dry eye” is rather trivial because you send your patient on to OTC heaven at the nearest pharmacy and have never seen their amazed and dazzled look of confusion at the plethora of OTC solutions that are palliative but no therapeutic value.

These are exciting changes

There is no question in my mind, the update changes caused by DEWS II will create more excitement in optometry and ophthalmology than a raccoon finding a garbage pail (that is a Texas saying by the way).

So to better make you understand my excitement, I want to explain why a seemingly simple thing like arranging a few new words defining “Dry Eye” is such a big deal to me.

A new definition crafts a new path, this is done based on a review of the best science available by the brightest minds in the field, all collaborating to work and update our intellectual map that will lead all of us to understand this disease entity better.

These few words, in essence, impact everything eye care, from clinical practice to research and many patients in between. These few new words and this seemingly unimportant new definition, crafts the beginning of a new era in “dry eye”.

It is a big undertaking

Think about it, even with new technology, OCT’s, and eye gizmos, we don’t get an official “new” date with definitions driving a historic new era in contact lenses or eyeglasses.

These new words on the Tear Film Ocular Surface Dry Eye Workshop II are the result of 150 of the world’s best minds from 23 different countries all collaborating to create a guide that impacts everything dry eye from clinical management to future research and all based on the most current scientific evidence.

So as you see, the eye care world and I are very excited to welcome a new definition that will give perspective and guidance to clinical care and research. The impact of a few new words becomes a compass that guides our navigation in the labyrinth of what we now know as “dry eye.”

Trivial as it might seem, this is a much-welcomed step forward in eye care that will have a significant impact on your practice, prove helpful to you, academics, researchers and ultimately give us all a better scientific, evidenced-based road to follow in helping our patients achieving much better outcomes.

So yes, I am very, very excited, and you should be too!