Dry eye strain

Specialist urges practitioners to take a patient’s anxiety into account when treating dry eye

27 Apr 2016 by Olivia Wannan

The best treatment regimes for dry eye look past the eye and into the mind, according to US expert Dr Richard Adler.

Following a presentation on the topic to Vision Expo East (New York, 30 March – 2 April), he told OT that the psychology of dry eye disease is widely under discussed.

The Baltimore ophthalmologist added: “The way a patient perceives their disease will impact how they experience it. The mind and body interact in many diseases but do so uniquely in dry eye.”

Dr Adler explained that studies have shown that anxiety can impact on dry eye symptoms, independently of tear parameters.

“There is a growing body of evidence for an association between anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and dry eye. Dry eye is uniquely sensitive to anxiety because of its inherently amorphous characteristics – poor correlation between signs and symptoms, lack of gold-standard objective testing and variability in presentation,” he highlighted.

It was important that any of a patient’s psychological concerns as a result of their condition are taken into account during treatment, Dr Adler said.

“[Practitioners] need to always remember the person behind the eye,” he concluded.

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