Practitioners gained insight into how to apply the latest definition of dry eye disease in practice at 100% Optical (27–29 January, ExCeL London).
Optometrist Niall O'Kane shared his tips on "breaking the vicious cycle" of dry eye.
He informed delegates about the updated international definition of the condition contained in the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society's Dry Eye Workshop II (DEWS II).
Mr O'Kane told delegates that DEWS II updated the definition developed in 2007, and provided recommendations for the diagnosis, management and therapy of the disease.
The updated definition is the first time that homeostasis has been incorporated as a key element, he explained.
Mr O'Kane also emphasised the patient-centred nature of the approach.
"We moved away from saying, 'These are the signs, these are the symptoms and this is the treatment'," he elaborated.
"It's the patient that we treat," Mr O'Kane added.
He stressed the scale of the condition worldwide, highlighting that millions of people are affected by dry eye disease globally.
As populations age, the condition is becoming more widespread, Mr O'Kane observed.
"Scarily once you start to tune in to it you'll spot it in most people," he said.
When managing dry eye, it is important for practitioners to put themselves in the position of the patient, Mr O'Kane observed.
He recommended considering whether it was realistic to expect patients to fit management steps into their day-to-day lives.