Interview with Dr. Kramer for “Dry Eye to the Rescue”
Hi, I’m Dr. Elise Kramer and I am an optometrist. I specialize in ocular surface disease, dry eye, specialty contact lenses and I work here in the Weston and Miami Contact Lens Institutes in South Florida.
Being a dry eye expert and partnering with Dry Eye Rescue has definitely increased awareness in my office in dry eye with patience, it’s improved compliance because I have all the products I have, the displays, and patience, when they come in the office, they feel like they’re in a dry eye clinic, so a lot of patients will look up dry eye. They’ll come here and they’ll feel like they’re in the right place because of the aesthetics that Dry Eye Rescue provides for the office and allowing all the inventory to be available to patients online to be able to get there the products and also return for their follow-ups regularly.
In terms of awareness, yes, I do believe that Dry Eye Rescue helps me increase awareness among my staff and also my patients for dry eye. When you fit and design contact lenses, it’s important that the patients have success. Part of ensuring that patients have success with the contact lenses that we recommend is optimizing their ocular surface. A lot of patients will have conditions for which we prescribe or design specialty contact lenses, but they also have dry eyes. So if we just do the contact lens part and we don’t address the dry eye, these patients might not be successful with their contact lenses. So in order to maximize the experience patients have with their contact lenses we really need to address any dry eye or ocular surface disease as well.
I actually did a one hour lecture just about eyelid hygiene and contact lenses which is available on Woo University where I talk about the importance of maintaining eyelid hygiene.So warm compresses eyelid hygiene, cleaning the eyelids and taking care of ocular surface issues and wearing contact lenses. You can be the best contact lens specialist and design the best contact lens, but if the ocular surface is not ready for it or is not optimized then the patient will not be successful for it. A lot of the time, we do prescribe scleral lenses, for example in dry eye, but once again a contact lens is a foreign body and so it can make evaporative dry eye a little bit worse. So there is that post lens tear film we have to optimize the pre lens tear film and by addressing all the dry eye, we can do that.
A lot of patients come because they have dry eye. Some of them have irregular corneas and we design contact lenses for them, they also have dry eye. Dry eyes are extremely common and one thing that I tell my colleagues all the time is that if we don’t test for it, sometimes you won’t find it or if you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t find it. We always ask the right questions, we’ll look for it, and we find a lot of dry eyes are very common for patients who come in for contact lenses to be a little bit more aware of their ocular surface or to have ocular surface disease. So as I mentioned, even patients who don’t come in for dry eye but have irregular corneas, a lot of them also have dry eye problems and so when we look for it and we find it we always treat that when dispensing and designing contact lenses.
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