Walter O. Whitley, OD, MBA, FAAO
Director, Optometric Services,
Virginia Eye Consultants,
Dr. Whitley was compensated by Alcon for his participation in this blog post.
SYSTANE® Complete Has You Covered When It Comes to Your Dry Eye Patients’ Symptoms
Dry eye affects an estimated 30 million people in the US and is one of the most common reasons people go to see their eye doctor.1 Dry eye symptoms can include blurred vision, burning and irritation, potentially reducing quality of life and productivity.2-4
According to the recently published TFOS DEWS II Report, “Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage, and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles.”5 The report acknowledged that aqueous-deficient and evaporative dry eye can co-exist. In aqueous deficient dry eye, the eye doesn’t produce enough tears. In evaporative dry eye, the eye produces tears but not enough lipids to prevent their evaporation.5 Estimates reveal that 30-70% of cases are neither purely aqueous nor evaporative, but mixed, exhibiting both causes.6 While it is important to identify both forms, it is even more important to understand that the two forms may require different treatments. Additionally, it is critical to evaluate and treat any underlying ocular surface inflammation which may exist in both forms. In such cases, addressing only tear production or evaporation provides inadequate relief.