Vol. 2, #01   •   Thursday, March 18, 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.


Building a Dry Eye Practice

Slit lamp imaging

This year’s Practice Pearls will lay out the necessary steps to build a dry eye clinic. I’ve spent over two decades developing a successful dry eye practice, and my hope is to transfer that knowledge to other eye care providers seeking to do so. These 25 ocular surface disease management Pearls, sponsored by Kala Pharmaceuticals, will provide the essential building blocks to begin.

To start the process of developing a successful dry eye practice, you need to have a few diagnostic tools in place.

The first piece of equipment I’d purchase would be a slit lamp imaging system. This technology helps your dry eye practice in three major ways: First, it’s hard to recall the specific staining from an exam that happened three months prior, so being able to look up the image and compare it to the patient’s current presentation helps assess the patient’s progress. Second, it’s a great educational device. I can show the patient everything from blepharitis to filamentary keratitis, and highlight why we need to treat the given condition. Third, it increases efficiency, as patients are able to quickly understand what you are diagnosing and managing.

Many companies make great slit lamp imaging systems, including Haag-Streit, TelScreen and Firefly. If you combine these systems with tools such as educational animations (offered by Rendia), you can quickly and effectively educate patients.

Next you’ll need an instrument for expressing the meibomian glands, such as a Mastrota paddle, Collins Expressor Forceps, or the Meibomian Gland Evaluator. In addition, NaFl dye strips and a yellow Wrattan #12 yellow filter are essential evaluation tools that allow you to see staining of the cornea and the conjunctiva.

That’s about all you need to get started, but stay tuned for Pearl #2 where we’ll discuss diagnostic technologies for an advanced dry eye clinic.

KEY TAKEAWAY: A few diagnostic tools are needed to start a dry eye clinic. They include a slit lamp, meibomian gland expression instruments, dye, and a filter.

Supported by an independent medical grant from Kala Pharmaceuticals

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