August 4, 2015
The most important measurement in treating dry eye is patient symptoms. Remember? You have to know what’s bugging them so you know what to fix. It’s helpful to know how much it’s bugging them so you know how well you are doing with your treatment. Whenever I lecture on dry eye or consult with a practice on starting up a dry eye service (shameless plug: I’m available!), I always ask the folks I’m addressing to tell me what kinds of complaints they hear from dry eye patients. My audience always misses the No. 1 and No. 2 complaints. No. 1 is — wait for it — "my eyes are dry." Duh. No. 2 as we learned from the PROOF study is some variation on "my vision is blurry."
It’s important to be on the lookout for as many symptom tip-offs as possible, either in the patient history or on your dry eye questionnaire. For sure, you need to at least ask about dryness and blurry vision. In July’s Ophthalmology, Amparo and colleagues propose the use of the SANDE test as an alternative to the OSDI. They are especially enthusiastic about how quick and intuitive the SANDE test was. For those of you not familiar, SANDE asks only how often your eyes feel dry or irritated and how severe are your symptoms.