By Goh Jiah Ying, Optometrist, International Eye Cataract Retina Centre, Singapore

Dry eye is one of the most common eye condition in Singapore, affecting one in three patients seeking treatment from ophthalmologists. It is usually a result of insufficient production of tears or poor quality of tears. Dry eye leads to ocular discomfort, visual disturbance and tear film instability that can potentially damage the ocular surface.

Ms Veni Venusha Sakti, Medical Liaison from Santen Pharmaceutical Asia, spoke about dry eye and its treatment options during the Singapore Primary Eye Care Symposium (SPECS) 2018 held in One Farrer Hotel on 18-19 July 2018. The title of her talk was “Managing Dry Eyes with a Cationic Emulsion”. She shared that dry eye is a complex disease that can impact a patient’s work productivity, visual acuity and sustained visual attention. Common signs and symptoms of dry eye include ocular redness, itch, discomfort, watery eyes and a burning sensation.

Ms Veni introduced different types of tear substitutes that address different aspects of dry eye management. For instance, products containing polymer provide hydration and osmocorrection while products with hyaluronic acid can reduce evaporation besides providing hydration and osmocorrection. Ophthalmic emulsion appears to be a good choice as it is able to address the different mechanisms of dry eye. As many patients with dry eye use contact lenses, Ms Veni also stressed the importance of knowing which products are compatible with contact lenses and which are not.