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    Taking a proactive approach to ocular surface conditions

    I had the extraordinary opportunity to spend a day with a group of colleagues who have focused their professional careers on the study of the ocular surface. Sponsored by Alcon, the advisory group spent many hours discussing future goals to enhance patients' quality of life by cultivating clear, comfortable vision with or without contact lenses. The goal of the advisory meeting was to gather feedback on a strategy for influencing optometry and ophthalmology to consider a proactive —rather than a reactive—approach to ocular surface conditions.

    Akin to the philosophy of protecting our teeth and skin with routine, preventative measures, our group considered if, why, and how this concept would work for eye care. Experts from the dental, dermatology, and psychology communities discussed the paradigm of preventative care and how it developed in their professional practices.

    Some time ago I wrote an article about “daily kindness” to the ocular surface. I strive to instill this idea into the daily patterns of my patients—I speak about diet, sunwear, allergy, and environmental modifications that I think will ensure, or at least enhance, how they feel and see each day.

    Keep an eye out for more details and feedback about this subject. I hope I have piqued your curiosity about this new approach to eye care.

    E-mail me at [email protected] for your comments and suggestions for being kind to the ocular surface.

    Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO
    Director of Optometry, New York Hotel Trades Council, Hotel Association of New York City, Health Center, Inc.

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