As the new year starts I sense a change occurring in eye care that many of us have been eagerly waiting for. Dry eye disease is finally starting to get the acknowledgement and understanding that it deserves. This acknowledgement is beginning to span the eye care world, not just thought leaders and early adopters are turning on to the fact that dry eye is real and deserves treatment; but more and more, the every-day eye care provider is beginning to actively hunt for dry eye disease and treat it in more and more sophisticated ways. Intelligent discussion about dry eye is becoming more commonplace. Dry eye is not as regularly excused as just a waste-bucket diagnosis. The change is coming, where ECPs, who are not as well equipped to treat a dry eye patient, will actively refer that patient to a more specialized clinic for shared care, similar to patients with a severe corneal ulcer. The change is coming; we are not there yet, but it is starting. Take a look around the eye care world and you will see the signs.
I have worn glasses since my math teacher noticed my inability to see the board in Algebra class in the 7th grade. It turned out that I had bad, irregular astigmatism as well as near sightedness—and it has only gotten worse since—with a minor eye-injury in my early adulthood, chronically dry eyes, and steadily deteriorating vision at distance. As a professional writer by trade, lacking the medical background or academic acumen for understanding my vision-related options, glasses had simply become a given facet of my life, and one that I’d never thought to question before. For me, it had always been a choice between glasses and eye-surgery, shutting me off from the significant benefits of lensing options. Only recently, some thirty years after my first pair of glasses, have I finally gotten around to trying scleral contact lenses—amazed now by the freedom they offer, and baffled that it took me so long to give them a try.