A major reason for visits to eye care practitioners, dry eye disease (DED) is a common yet undertreated condition. Recent data suggests that about 30 million American adults experience dry eye symptoms. However, the number of people who are actually diagnosed and treated is estimated to be much lower. Within our practices, the proportion of patients presenting with dry eye symptoms may fall anywhere between about 20% to nearly 100% of daily clinical encounters.
The management of DED has improved significantly over the past decade as a result of an increased understanding of the disease. The time when diagnosis of DED relied only on tear breakup time and corneal fluorescein staining, and when treatment regimens focused primarily on tear supplementation, is long gone. Today, a multitude of technologies are available to thoroughly assess DED, as are prescription drugs and treatment procedures. One of these, Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% is the first prescription agent approved to treat both the signs and symptoms of DED. Here, three ocular surface disease experts share their insights on the diagnosis and treatment of DED and their experience incorporating Xiidra into clinical practice.