The verdict is in: personalized, patient-centered care is better care. That’s especially true when it comes to dry eye disease. A recent review published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine explores emerging areas of dry eye research that could benefit patients. New progress sparks hope for more treatment options that would support patient-centered dry eye care.
Dry eye disease occurs when the eyes can’t produce enough high-quality tears and don’t receive adequate moisture. This can cause stinging, itching or burning of the eyes. It can also trigger light sensitivity, blurred vision and eye fatigue.
The type and severity of dry eye disease symptoms vary widely. For some patients, dry eye may cause chronic symptoms. For others, specific activities like riding on an airplane may trigger symptoms.
The variable nature of dry eye disease means that every patient’s experience is unique. As the review demonstrates, patients may require individualized diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The researchers emphasize the need for more advanced diagnostic and treatment strategies that target the underlying causes of the disease.
Another key take away is that patients and health care providers need choice among medications. In the past decade, researchers discovered that inflammation plays a central role in dry eye disease. The finding opened the door for a slew of new, targeted dry eye therapies. But patients vary in their response to dry eye treatments, making a personalized and patient-centered approach critical.
Meanwhile, other researchers have already begun leveraging the power of clinical and diagnostic tools through the development of treatment guidelines. These guidelines can educate clinicians on how to best help their patients using available resources.
The 16 million people living with dry eye stand to benefit from increased disease state awareness, expanding treatment options and new treatment guidelines. Coupled with a patient-centered approach to care, these advances can continue to improve the quality of life for patients with dry eye disease.