BLOG: Dry eye at ASCRS

My first experience on the podium of an ASCRS Eyeworld panel was enjoyable and educational. Hopefully the audience felt the same way! One very important lesson I learned was that the 10- to 12-minute format for a talk is a double-edged sword. It’s plenty of time to cover one very specific topic in detail, but not nearly enough to cover a broader canvas with depth and accuracy. To do so simply requires too much of your audience.

Seated on the stage with four of the most impressive (and attractive) dry eye specialists in the world, we discussed the state of advanced dry eye care. My charge was to outline how a busy anterior segment surgeon could/should include the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye preoperatively. My basic thesis was that the depth of dry eye care in the surgical patient is directly proportional to the degree of control the surgeon can exert over the perioperative patient experience. More control begets more diagnosis and better treatment. I outlined a simple and direct protocol utilizing presently available diagnostic and treatment options.

The last third of my talk was on how I thought future tech would change dry eye care in LASIK and cataract surgery. Lifitegrast (Shire) came up, of course, but that’s really old news by now. I finished by repeating my oft-mentioned plea for lower-priced LipiFlow activators, and I very specifically stated that $100 activators would change the perioperative care of dry eye in all “high control” practices; LipiFlow would be automatically included in much, if not all, of premium surgery.

That’s what I said. What some part of the audience heard was that an activator price decrease was coming soon from TearScience. Nope. Sorry. Not even close. I do not have knowledge of any information, public or otherwise, that supports that notion. We will have to content ourselves with the massive 50% price cut Joe Boorady announced at OSN New York in November. Remember, SkyVision purchased LipiView/LipiFlow in the days of $350 activators. If you want to treat dry eye around premium eye surgery, or really anywhere at all, everything in my talk should move you toward adding thermal pulsation treatment today.

I’m going to start lobbying for a few more minutes next time.

Disclosure: White reports he is a consultant for Bausch + Lomb, Allergan, Shire and Eyemaginations; is on the speakers board for Bausch + Lomb, Allergan and Shire; and has a financial interest in TearScience.