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    Complementary and alternative medicine help dry eye patients

    Consider therapies such as acupuncture to augment your clinical tools

    With the exponential increase of interest in dry eye or ocular surface disease (OSD) among physicians and the industry, we are fortunate to have access to exciting new diagnostic and imaging technology as well as new treatment options and therapeutics for some of our most frustrated patients.

    The use of these innovative instruments and therapeutics, coupled with advancing medical research, allows us to forge ahead attaining a new clinical understanding of OSD. However, we must not forget nor forgo our early evidence-based management options for dry eye.

    Traditional methods to treat dry eye

    Basic to overall health and well-being, nutritional balance should be considered as an integral part of every patient’s eyecare plan. It is fundamental that our bodies remain fueled with the appropriate and balanced intake. This ensures that each bodily microenvironment can access those nutrients necessary for peak performance.

    Related: What is the coffee ring effect?

    Dietary supplements are available to support most ocular disease states from dry eye to diabetes. For dry eye patients, the addition of GLA-rich omega products such as HydroEye (Science Based Health) may enhance quality meibom production and reduce ocular surface inflammation. Ocular inflammation and discomfort are part of the symptom spectrum of our ocular surface disease patients.

    We can retreat much further into pain management when considering options for our OSD patients. Omni Eye Surgery in New York and New Jersey expanded its facilities to include a dry eye specialty care service. We are exploring acupuncture as a viable resource for our dry eye patients, especially for those who experience sensations of discomfort, including headache.

    Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO
    Clinical director of Omni Center for Dry Eye Specialty Care in New York City

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