July is Dry Eye Awareness month: Resources from Prevent Blindness

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Educational resources include handouts, videos and a dedicated webpage on the proper way to use eye drops

An eye encased by a sand dune. AI-generated image. Image credit: ©Vladimir – stock.adobe.com

Dry eye, if left untreated, can cause significant damage to the cornea. Image credit: ©Vladimir – stock.adobe.com

July is Dry Eye Awareness Month, and Prevent Blindness is helping ophthalmologists educate patients and healthcare professionals on the disease, which significantly impacts patients' functional vision, economic standing and overall health status.1

Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free resources, including fact sheets and shareable social media graphics, available in both English and Spanish.

“Dry eye can be caused by a variety of factors and if left untreated may cause damage to the cornea,” Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said in a news release. “Visit an eye care professional to find out if you have dry eye, and if so, work together as a team to create an effective treatment plan to minimise the effects.”

For the fourth consecutive year, OCuSOFT Inc., a privately held company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, is partnering with Prevent Blindness in support of Dry Eye Awareness Month.2

Types of dry eye include evaporative dry eye, which occurs when there is an inadequate amount of oil in tears, and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a condition where the eyelid glands do not produce enough oil or it is of poor quality. MGD is the most common cause of evaporative dry eye.

Symptoms of dry eye can include:2

  • Fluctuating blurry vision
  • Burning or stinging
  • Particles in the eye
  • Itchiness
  • Redness and swelling
  • Gritty, sandy feeling
  • Stringy mucus
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Extreme sensitivity, especially to cigarette smoke

Once a patient has been diagnosed with dry eye disease, an eyecare professional may recommend the use of eye drops. Prevent Blindness has developed a dedicated webpage on the proper way to administer eye drops.3 Educational materials include a printable sheet and an informational video titled “How to Use Eye Drops” with Yara Catoira-Boyle, MD, of Visionary Eye Specialists.

Prevent Blindness also offers two Focus on Eye Health Expert Series episodes including “Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)” with April Jasper, OD, FAAO, Advanced Eyecare Specialists,4 and “Dry Eye” with Stephanie Jones Marioneaux, MD.5

References:
  1. Boboridis KG, Messmer EM, Benítez-Del-Castillo J, et al. Patient-reported burden and overall impact of dry eye disease across eight European countries: a cross-sectional web-based survey. BMJ Open. 2023;13(3):e067007. Published 17 Mar, 2023. Accessed 1 July, 2024. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-067007
  2. Prevent Blindness Joins in July’s Dry Eye Awareness Month, Providing Educational Resources on Eye Disease that Affects Millions - Prevent Blindness. Published 27 June, 2024. Accessed 27 June, 2024. https://preventblindness.org/2024-dry-eye-awareness-month/
  3. ‌Taking Eye Drop Medications - Prevent Blindness. Published 2011. Accessed 27 June, 2024. https://preventblindness.org/taking-eye-drop-medications/
  4. ‌Prevent Blindness. Dry Eye Disease and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD): What You Need to Know. YouTube. Published 26 June, 2023. Accessed 27 June, 2024. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB__-wwkrjo
  5. ‌Prevent Blindness. Dry Eye. YouTube. Published 13 August, 2021. Accessed 27 June, 2024. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZlN8H_z7bI&list=PLuXDO8Wh5lipzoODoWCFgy4WddoQqUn8g&index=34
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