The World Council of Optometry (WCO) and Alcon have engaged international dry eye specialists, Professors James Wolffsohn (Aston University, UK), Jennifer Craig (Auckland University, New Zealand) and Lyndon Jones (Waterloo University, Canada) to develop education tools for eyecare practitioners across the world to better assist their dry eye patients.
The WCO-Alcon dry eye disease (DED) education partnership, announced in July, is a good thing, said Prof Craig as it will help raise awareness of dry eye and ways to manage it. “It’s for practitioners across the world who would like to do a better job of helping their patients, despite often limited resources. Many won’t have access to IPL machines or keratography, but they can still make a huge difference using simple methods and tools. Then if they want to do more, we can show them how to reach the next level, right up to those who are really passionate about tackling dry eye disease and want to invest and become specialists. But the focus in this instance will be largely on the simple techniques and strategies to which most patients and practitioners would have access.”
Profs Craig, Wolffsohn and Jones, all ambassadors for and heavily involved with the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society’s (TFOS’) global workshops on DED and ocular surface disease, are in the process of jointly developing a series of educational webinars, designed to help practitioners across the world. Basing them on scientific evidence published in, and since TFOS DEWS II, the aim is to ultimately deliver care to more dry eye patients, many of whom may not even realise that DED is what they’re suffering from or know that something can be done to help them, said Prof Craig. “For example, we promote consistency in the way in which clinicians question patients about dry eye and test for it in practice, as this encourages consistent messaging for patients in regard to dry eye disease diagnosis and management.”
“The impact of dry eye on quality of life is comparable to other disabling conditions and even mild to moderate dry eye can reduce quality of life,” said Carla Mack, Alcon’s global head of professional affairs. “We’ve joined forces with the WCO to bring the leading experts in the field and the latest science to the forefront. We’re excited to help more optometrists access the latest data so that more patients who suffer from dry eye disease find treatment and relief.”