Thursday, October 13, 2011

UK optometry community exhorted to do better in dry eye

I appreciated seeing this little tidbit in hopefully more UK optometrists will jump in the bandwagon and embrace dry eye.

OOs urged to update eyelid hygiene advice

Optometrists are doing 'more harm than good' by advising patients to employ home-made treatments such as baby shampoo or bicarb scrubs for lid and lash conditions.

Delegates to Johnson & Johnson's White, Bright and Healthy roadshow heard that OOs should get more involved in the management of dry eye and prescribing therapeutics.

Independent West Country OO Sarah Farrant said eye care professionals should take the initiative. In her presentation on investigation and management of dry eye she said up to 30 per cent of over-50s and half of contact lens wearers would suffer from the condition but: 'GPs can't, and ophthalmologists won't', identify and treat it.

Farrant added that some practices were doing more harm than good by advising patients to use baby shampoo or bicarbonate of soda to wipe lids and lashes. 'Baby shampoo is about as disruptive to the lipid as you can get.' She also cautioned against the use of bicarb describing it as: 'the lesser of two evils'.

OO Peter Frampton, who practises in the North East, said OOs had the equipment and the skills to identify the causes of red eye in practice. He urged delegates to get trained and become prescribers of ocular therapeutic drugs. OOs have the skills to make a difference to patients with red eye and becoming a prescriber would add an extra dimension to their practice and allow them to treat patients without having to constantly refer. 'We have got to do it ourselves or we will be waiting for ever,' he added.

The roadshow also looked at contact lens complications, patient retention and diet and supplementation. They continue in Bristol, November 8 and Manchester, November 10.

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