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    New eye drop assistant helps drive compliance

    New innovation in eye drop instillation helps transfer drops to patients’ eyes

    In my career, I have been lucky enough to meet wonderful and interesting eyecare providers with unique and varied passions apart from their profession in eye care.

    I know optometrists and ophthalmologists who—besides being superb clinicians and surgeons—are musicians, artists, explorers, and scientists.

    For example, Jay Galst, MD, is a world-renowned collector of coins and medals that are related to the eye. Robert Goldberg, OD, is a classically trained opera singer who once sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium. Further, Veronica Ruelas, OD, is a master yoga instructor and creator of a line of yoga-related clothing and jewelry. I am also privileged to know tinkerers and inventors such as Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO; the late Sol Leibowitz, MD; and Julius Shulman, MD.

    Previously from Dr. Mastrota: 5 things you need to know about TFOS DEWS II

    Julius Shulman, whom I have known for over 30 years, maintains two vibrant private ophthalmology practices in NYC—he is a Renaissance man. A lover of theater and music, he produced a Broadway musical. As an inventor, Dr. Shulman has brought to market a product to assist pediatric, adult, and even pet patients instill eye drops.

    Eye drop challenges

    As ODs, we are fully aware of the challenge patient compliance with prescribed eye drops. To assuage the battle of compliance, eye drop manufacturers are assiduously working to devise drug delivery systems that reduce or eliminate patients’ engagement in the instillation of their prescribed therapy. But until ODs no longer use eye drops, drops remain our primary mode of drug delivery.

    With respect to ocular drug usage—particularly the application of eye drops—patient adherence to therapy is challenged by:

    • Drug cost

    • Accessibility

    • Availability

    • Remembering to apply the drug daily

    • Inconvenience

    • Iatrogenic drug discomfort or irritation

    • Poor vision1

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

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