Thursday, May 24, 2007

Coming soon... Dry Eye Yellow Pages

Dry Eye Yellow Pages

In June 2007 I'm going to be launching an all new directory of...

1) Doctors who take an interest in dry eye care.

Doctors will be listed by name and by country/state/city. And there will be no fancy navigational tools or lookups designed to convey the impression we have a huge database of dry eye doctors. Nope. If I have only 3 doctors in the database on launch date (lol, unlikely but possible), that is what you will see listed.

A brief aside...

A doctor directory for dry eye is a ticklish thing, admittedly.

You really can't have a directory of dry eye specialists. There is no such formal subspecialty for one thing, and there are doctors of all sorts and descriptions who describe themselves as dry eye specialists. Making subjective judgments about who's a specialist and who's not ain't my cup of tea at all. Furthermore, while some would suggest limiting it to corneal specialists, this would eliminate many excellent doctors (ophthalmologists and optometrists, as well as some alternative care providers) who are providing truly excellent services. What to do, what to do.

So, my approach to this is to make it wide open but to give the doctors an opportunity to provide, hopefully, enough information to convey to potential patients where they are coming from and whether their heart is really in it. Furthermore, in order to cover my costs I am charging an administrative fee for listing, so doctors need to be motivated to be listed here.

As a minimum, this directory will at least give dry eye patients something better than a set of darts and a phone book, and hopefully, it will provide a really solid way to narrow their selection. Doctor shopping is a tough thing under any circumstances.

2) Dry eye products.

The product directory will allow you to browse by product brand, product type (e.g. plugs, artificial tears, sleep masks), and manufacturer.

If any doctors or manufacturers are reading this and want to be listed, give me a call at 877-693-7939 (9am-5pm Pacific).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Newsclip: TFOS workshop report finalized

Marketwire 5/23/07

Dry Eye Defined: International Definition and Classification of Dry Eye Disease Announced

The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society ("TFOS") presented the findings of the International Workshop on the Definition, Diagnosis and Classification of Dry Eye Disease.

The Dry Eye WorkShop ("DEWS"), sponsored by TFOS, was created to provide an evidence-based critical review and summary of the classification, epidemiology, diagnosis, techniques of basic and clinical research, and management of dry eye disease....

The workshop comprised of 70 experts from 12 countries. This three-year project culminated in a report that represents contemporary understanding and informed conclusions about dry eye disease. "Dry eye disease is a chronic, progressive disease that afflicts approximately 40-60 million people in the United States and 100 million worldwide," noted Dr. Michael A. Lemp.... "Furthermore... in the United States, diagnosis rates are estimated to be less that 20% of the dry eye patient population."

Newsclip: Some NIH money for dry eye, at last...

The Post Chronicle

Scientists study dry eye disease in women

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has given an Ohio State University optometrist nearly $1.7 million to study dry eye disease in postmenopausal women.

Kelly Nichols, the grant's lead investigator and an associate professor of optometry, said her team will study 500 women, age 50 or older, during the next five years in one of the largest studies focusing on the causes of dry eye disease, which affects nearly 12 million U.S. citizens.

Yesssss. I have little doubt that the increase in publicity for dry eye over the last year or so has played a role in this. More, more, more please!!!!!!!

Punctal plug updates

Eyeworld's May issue has a lovely 2-page spread on punctal plugs. Most of it is the "usual suspects", and cheap knockoffs thereof, however, I noticed a few interesting ones I was not previously aware of. (And by the way why aren't SmartPlugs on this list? There have been an awful lot of complications reports, but they remain a popular plug and are mentioned in the article on the previous page.)

Some interesting items...

FCI Perforated plug - I wasn't aware of this one, but for those who want partial occlusion it looks like this is an alternative to the Eaglevision flow controller.

Also by FCI is the "SnugPlug". This is a silicone "one size fits all" plug. Manufacturer's description... "Packaged preloaded ina stretched position for easy insertion; when released from inserter, plug returns to its natural shape for a comfortable and snug fit." Hm. I'll hold off commenting on that till I hear from some patients who have tried it.

For our complete listing of plugs with materials, sizes, shapes etc, see DryEyeZone PLUGS page.