Ocular surface diseases are disorders of the surface of the cornea—the transparent layer that forms the front of the eye. These diseases include dry eye syndrome, meibomian gland dysfunctionblepharitis, rosaceous, allergies, scarring from glaucoma medications, chemical burns, thermal burns, and immunological conditions such as Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid and Sjogren’s Syndrome. Ocular surface diseases can severely affect eyesight and quality of life. Symptoms may include blurry vision, discomfort or pain, redness and itching, and in severe cases, blindness due to corneal scarring.- Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Glaucoma patients at greater risk for developing ocular surface disease
Treatment for glaucoma may be a leading cause of ocular surface disease, according to a speaker here.
“We understand that your [glaucoma] patients are at greater risk for ocular surface disease than non-glaucoma patients,” Edward J. Holland, MD, said at Glaucoma Day preceding the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting. “Your [glaucoma] patients are elderly, so they have decreased age-related tear secretion; they are on medications for life and frequently on many medications; and if they undergo some filtering procedures, that is a further insult to the ocular surface and the conjunctiva,” Holland said.
According to several studies, prevalence of ocular surface disease (OSD) ranges from 30% to 70% in all glaucoma patients, and glaucoma patients with OSD have a poorer quality of life, Holland said.
Risk factors for glaucoma are age, number of daily eye drops, disease severity and the duration of topical treatment, Holland said.
“How does glaucoma management make OSD worse? We understand the problems with benzalkonium chloride, and there is certainly a move in all medications to reduce the concentration and try and get it out of our drops,” Holland said.
In addition to the benzalkonium, Holland said that glaucoma medication, the use of antimetabolites in surgery and the trauma from the surgery all increase the incidence of OSD.
Holland advises colleagues to recognize signs of OSD………
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