Where Do We Go From Here?
By Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO
Each July, we print our annual dry eye issue, which we hope provides up-to-date content on dry eye diseases—one of the most frequent ophthalmic conditions that our patients experience. It is also well known that our contact lens wearers are plagued by discomfort and dryness. It goes without saying that we need better diagnostics, and particularly therapeutics, for our patients who have ocular surface disease.
One of the most remarkable events that happened in the past year was the conclusion of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society's International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. It is thought by most practitioners and researchers that evaporative dry eye is more frequent compared to aqueous deficient dry eye, and meibomian gland dysfunction is a major cause (if not the major cause) of evaporative dry eye. Likewise, it is thought that contact lens dry eye is evaporative in nature as well. This report, which was published in the first-ever special edition of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS), represents the work and consensus of more than 50 worldwide experts on the meibomian glands. If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so—it is freely available on the IOVS website.
What's to come over the next year? As discussed in this issue, there is a strong pipeline of potential therapeutics. Will one reach the market in the next year? Probably not, but we should be optimistic about the next few years. Another potentially important event to come might be another consensus workshop. Many issues need to be addressed by the community, so the start of another workshop on an important, unresolved issue would indeed be welcome. I can't help but think of several topics, some of which are even addressed in this issue of Contact Lens Spectrum.