BLOG: Multi disciplinary management of dry eye in the community 

A multi-disciplinary discussion will take place at the BCLA’s Visionaries Conference as part of a drive to bring together the optometry profession and formulate a strategy to better manage dry eye disease. 
The debate will be chaired by Professor Teifi James and panelists will include Professor James Wolffsohn, dry eye specialist Nick Rumney and representatives from the College of Optometrists, Colin Davidson, Professor  David D’Cruz  Consultant Rheumatologist, Elaine Mann, Advance Clinical Pharmacist Ophthalmology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals HNS trust, Professor Sunil Shah, Katrina Venerus, Clinical Director at LOCSU, Andrew Price, ABDO and Dr Waqaar Shah, a General Practitioner. 

The past 10 years have seen a considerable rise in awareness of DED across the UK and the rest of the world, with clinical care for those affected provided by a wide range of professionals. 

While greater awareness is to be welcomed, it brings with it a new set of potential problems, with many individuals now in a position to self-diagnose and use supermarkets, pharmacies and opticians to purchase products with no clinical-led guidance.

As a profession, we need to understand the pathophysiology of the disease to provide an evidence-based definition and contemporary classification for DED. The recently published TFOS DEWS II report does exactly that and provides us with useful guidance on how to help those individuals affected by DED.

The diagnostic and management guidelines of TFOS DEWS II indicate that specialist ophthalmic equipment is required to diagnose and manage the disease yet hospitals do not have the capacity and primary care is not funded to provide this service. 

There are also considerable differences within the UK for referral and management pathways.

The debate will explore how the professions can best work together to optimise patient quality of life.

The event, being held in conjunction with partners Alcon and CooperVision and sponsors Johnson & Johnson Vision, Menicon, Mark’ennovy, Supermax Vision UK Aveo, Thea Pharmaceuticals, Topcon and UltraVision, will be held at The Wellcome Collection in London from 1pm to 8pm on Wednesday, December 13. Register here.

A copy of the full programme is available online can be downloaded here.