Can you believe that it has been 10 years since we began our tradition of publishing the annual Dry Eye Issue of Contact Lens Spectrum? It is remarkable what we find when we look back into that issue to provide us with perspective on where we are today. In the July 2009 issue of Contact Lens Spectrum, three feature articles covered trends in dry eye diagnosis and management, inflammation in dry eye disease, and factors influencing contact lens-related dry eye. Flash forward 10 years, and these are still highly relevant topics today.
However, while some things have stayed the same, others have definitely changed. For instance, if you compare the preferred diagnostic tests, you will note that the most favored assessments were and remain symptom assessment and tear breakup test (www.clspectrum.com/issues/2009/july-2009/2009-annual-report-on-dry-eye-diseases ; www.clspectrum.com/issues/2018/july-2018/2018-report-on-dry-eye-diseases ). On the other hand, what you will notice when comparing the data over this time period are the extended parameters and tests that we now consider in the diagnosis (and treatment) of dry eye disease. Likewise, in 2009, there was recognition of the role of inflammation in ocular surface diseases, including the treatment methods that use anti-inflammatory approaches. Flash forward to 2019, and you see significant expansion in our understanding of inflammatory pathways and etiologies underlying ocular surface diseases as well as targeted treatments that more specifically address these pathways.
While we have made tremendous progress in the field of dry eye disease, one area in which we need to remain vigilant is in contact lens-related dry eye. We have seen a shift toward more frequent replacement schedules and new materials, designs, and care regimens, but there remains a significant number of patients who still struggle with uncomfortable lens wear. Going forward over the next 10 years, our hope is that we will be able to more significantly impact our contact lens wearers’ ability to wear their contact lenses with greater comfort.