Categories: Health&Beauty

‘Encyclopedia’ of dry eye disease released

The FINANCIAL — The new definition for dry eye disease (DED) was the last section finalized for the recently released, landmark 2017 Report of the TFOS International Dry Eye Workshop ll, known as DEWS ll.

ADVERTISEMENT

The definition, which has generated keen interest, was informed by the work of all the subcommittees that contributed to DEWS ll. The entire report is twice as long as its predecessor a decade ago, no doubt due to the number of research articles on the subject doubling in that time, according to AOA.

“The whole report is an evidence-based report of the status of dry eye as we know it right now,” says Kelly Nichols, O.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., who served as co-chair of the report’s subcommittee on definition and classification.

“That means the statements in the report are informed by what’s been published in the literature, forward-looking interpretation based on clinical experiences, Dr. Nichols adds. “We just really hope that all this work raises clinicians’ and patients’ awareness around the diagnosis and management of dry eye.

SUPPORT OUR NEWS, DONATE $1

“If it’s anything like the original DEWS report (published in 2007), it will withstand the test of time and it will be highly cited and downloaded.” Dr. Nichols adds. “People will be using it for a variety of different reasons, and it is what clinicians and scientists do with it that will matter.”

Defining dry eye

The definition has come a long way, says Dr. Nichols, dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry who served on the board of directors of the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) DEWS ll steering committee, which produced the report.

More than 20 years ago, DED was labeled a “disorder.” A decade later, in 2007 when the first DEWS report landed, DED was identified as a disease for the first time. And now it has been tweaked again to reflect the growing mountain of research on the subject. Words and phrases, such as “loss of homeostasis,” have been joined as well as a nod given to the potential causes of DED and the ultimate outcome.

From this progress comes a new definition:

“Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage, and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles.”

Each definition furthers understanding of DED, the report’s authors say. Read the full report at tearfilm.org. So, what’s in a definition?

“A definition and classification scheme should lead to a pathway toward diagnosis, should tell you what to look for, or ask for in this case, since DED has a strong symptomatic component,” Dr. Nichols says. “And if you understand some of the etiology related to the disease, then that also indicates treatment targets. The new classification scheme is patient-centered, and provides a decision tree based on symptoms at the start.

“It’s important in helping doctors separate out one ocular surface disease from another,” she adds. “It’s also important that it helps guide treatment through understanding etiology.

Giving credit

Dr. Nichols is quick to give credit where it is due. She praised the 2½ years and countless hours of work by each of the subcommittee members for DEWS ll and the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other clinicians and researchers behind the scenes globally who tirelessly contributed to the body of evidence for what she called an “encyclopedia” on dry eye.

Not only does the report have twice as many pages, but also the subjects covered in the reports are equally expanded. Sections in the report are similar to the 2007 report, including the standard but weighty “Pathophysiology,” “Management and Therapy” and “Epidemiology” from a decade ago to new subcommittee reports such as “Sex, gender and hormones.”

“This is really a labor of love,” Dr. Nichols says.

And a labor of medicine.

“You hope doctors of optometry find something in the report that brings value to their work,” Dr. Nichols says.

 

The FINANCIAL

Recent Posts

Younger people twice as likely to access private healthcare, with most willing to pay using their own money or savings

Almost nine in ten (87%) UK adults believe people should have equivalent access to NHS…

13 hours ago

Why Bitcoin Got Interested With Georgia

Yearly this year, Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX founder met Georgia's Prime Minister Gharibashvili to discuss prospects…

13 hours ago

Killing In Kherson: A Self-Made Partisan Describes His Role In The Resistance To Russia’s Occupation

KHERSON, Ukraine -- For Vladyslav Nedostup, the eight-month occupation of his native city has receded…

15 hours ago

Casual Luxe & Upscale Fare Featured at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

Far underrated in comparison to its neighbors Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the city of Hollywood…

2 days ago

Getting ready for retirement

Getting ready for retirement can be both stressful and satisfying. As you get more and…

4 days ago

Macron says it’s up to Ukrainians to decide conditions for possible end of war and “sustainable peace”

French President Emmanuel Macron said he does not believe allies should push Ukrainians into a…

4 days ago