Reviews Supplements Conquering Ocular Surface Disease : Page 1

CONQUERING OCULAR SURFACE DISEASE With Next Generation Hygiene Therapy Op Optometrists are not strangers to wellness, hygiene and preventive care—yet we shy away from pushing hing e? such principles in practice. Why is this the case? Blepharitis affects 80 million patients in the Unit-ed States each year, with Demodex being the cul-prit much of the time. 1 Because Demodex mites can cause ocular infl ammation and exacerbate many pre-existing ocular surface conditions— such as dry eye, chalazion, meibomian gland dys-function, and pterygium—effective treatment is needed or a snowball effect will almost certainly follow. 2-4 This fl ies in the face of our true calling, as optometrists, to deliver preventative care. Though the changes are gradual, there is no doubt that some segment of eye care can, and should, be moving in the direction of an ocular hygiene model in which optometrists position themselves as dentists do. Hygiene and ongo-ing wellness are the hallmark of dentistry and are the primary drivers of that profession’s success. Sponsored by Optometrists, likewise, are not strangers to well-ness, hygiene and preventive care—yet we shy away from pushing such principles in practice. Why is this the case? Until recently, we could easily justify our reluc-tance. We lacked the diagnostic tools to recognize and fully understand ocular surface and lid dis-ease. Plus, there really was not enough evidence and research to support using treatments that, in many cases, also lacked suffi cient evidence to sup-port regular use. But much has changed in the past several years. The mysteries of the ocular surface are now well known, and the treatments are safe, scientifi cally tested, and proven to be effective. This is a new era for optometry. We are armed with knowledge and it is incumbent upon us to use it. At this roundtable event, a panel of experts joined 1 Review of Optometry | November 2015

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