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    Reduce dropout in patients with dry eye

    Before switching lenses or solutions, treat the patient’s medical condition

    When contact lens patients complain of decreased wear time, discomfort, or reduced or fluctuating vision, the eyecare practitioner’s response is often to suggest a change.

    Perhaps a different brand of contact lens, a different brand of solution, or a change of modality, for instance from monthly to daily disposable, could help to relieve the patient’s symptoms.

    Related: How to know when it’s not dry eye

    Practitioners should remember, however, that ocular surface disease (OSD), including dry eye disease (DED), is common among contact lens wearers.

    If an unhealthy ocular surface is the cause of the patient’s complaints, perhaps the better approach would be to treat the underlying medical condition—the DED—rather than to immediately start discussing changes in brand or modality. A change in brand, modality or solution will usually provide only a temporary improvement because OSD is a progressive disease.

    Related: Dry eye and contact lens wear

    Dry eye and lens wear

    We conducted a study to assess whether treatment of DED with cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05% (Restasis; Allergan) could increase wear time and improve ocular health in contact lens wearers.1

    We retrospectively analyzed 102 patients who presented for a yearly examination or pathology visit with complaints of ocular discomfort or vision concerns who were diagnosed at that visit with mild to moderate DED, and who underwent six months of cyclosporine therapy while continuing to use their contact lenses.

    Thomas P. Kislan, OD
    Thomas P. Kislan, OD, is founder and medical director of Stroudsburg Eye Specialists, Hazleton Eye Specialists, and Dry Eye Clinic of ...

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