Vol. 2, #04  •   Thursday, April 8, 2021


Review's Chief Clinical Editor
Paul M. Karpecki, OD, FAAO

Provides you with cutting-edge clinical strategies for optimal management of ocular surface disease and beyond.


Identifying Dry Eye Patients

Once you establish a successful dry eye practice, you won’t need to actively seek out new patients; existing patients will refer many friends and family members to you. But when starting out, you and your staff must actively identify prospective DED cases and educate all patients on key dry eye symptoms.

When you are first building a dry eye practice, it’s imperative that everyone on your team is in support of building such a clinic—from the front office employees to clinical staff all the way down to the scribe you may have to hire.

As the first entry point to your office, your front office staff can ask prospective patients some key dry eye-related questions. My favorite questions came from the 2014 Dry Eye Summit. These questions will help identify dry eye patients—even those who may erroneously think they need new glasses when they really need relief from dry eye signs and symptoms. Dry eye, or even meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), can affect a refraction, and lead to contact lens dropout and spectacle remakes. The patient may blame their glasses or contact lenses for vision issues resulting from DED so the following questions (paraphrased) can help alert them to possible dry eye:

1. Do your eyes feel dry or gritty, burn or sting?
2. Do your eyes look red or irritated?
3. Do you experience fluctuating vision?
4. Do you use, or have the urge to use, artificial tears or rewetting drops?
5. Do you spend more than 3 hours per day on digital devices?

Another option is to have a patient complete a validated questionnaire before their exam. Good questionnaires to consider include the SPEED or DEQ-5.

Even obtaining VA or measuring a refraction are great tools to identify dry eye patients, as patients who have to blink to clear their vision require a dry eye assessment.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Make sure your entire staff is on board with proactively identifying dry eye patients and recommending they be scheduled for assessment in the dry eye clinic.

Supported by an independent medical grant from Kala Pharmaceuticals

Review of Optometry® is published by the Review Group, a Division of Jobson Medical Information LLC (JMI), 19 Campus Boulevard, Newtown Square, PA 19073.

To subscribe to other JMI newsletters or to manage your subscription, click here.

To change your email address, reply to this email. Write "change of address" in the subject line. Make sure to provide us with your old and new address.

To ensure delivery, please be sure to add revoptom@lists.jobsonmail.com to your address book or safe senders list.

Click here if you do not want to receive future emails from Review of Optometry.