Ocular Surface Disease

Why Wait? The Impact of Dry Eye Disease on Patients

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The following eye care physicians were asked to answer a series of questions related to their clinical practice, experience, and opinions regarding the treatment of dry eye disease. They were compensated for their time.


Why is dry eye disease so challenging for patients?

Eric Donnenfeld, MD: Most patients who come to me with a symptom of dry eye have not only been treating themselves with over-the-counter remedies, but they very commonly have seen several eyecare professionals prior to seeing me and have not had resolution of their problems. These patients are looking for answers and they’re looking for therapies to help resolve their disease.

Walter Whitley, OD: They’re looking for a provider that’s going to address their symptoms and their signs. They may not be able to enjoy the things that they do, their activities of daily living.

Eric Donnenfeld, MD: For most patients, the most difficult part of disease is that patients expect to have a therapy that’s going to resolve their problem and they won’t have the symptoms again. And I need to educate every patient who comes in with dry eye that dry eye is a chronic disease and it needs to be managed chronically.


What are your patients looking to achieve from their dry eye treatment?

Leslie O’Dell, OD: Once patients start to see the depth and just how many things are factored into the disease, they start to better understand that none of our solutions are a quick fix, and we’re in this together for the long haul with the goal to give the patient more quality of feeling with their eyes. And I always tell them, “My goal with your treatment is to give you more days where you forget that you have eyes than days that you’re constantly reminded by them.”

Walter Whitley, OD: There are differences in our patients who are treated early in their disease state versus later in the disease state. The reason why it’s so important for our patients to identify early is the earlier we intervene, then we can address the conditions because it only gets worse over time.

Leslie O’Dell, OD: The impact that has on a patient is hard to describe until you have a patient that comes back to you after being started on something that works better than what they had prior. And even if that was just an artificial tear, they actually say things like, “I don’t think about my eyes.” Or they say things like, “I haven’t reached for a tear all throughout my workday.”

Eric Donnenfeld, MD: It’s very easy to give a patient artificial tear and say, “Come back and see me next year.” But taking the time to explain to patients the inflammatory basis of dry eye, starting them on a therapeutic treatment that’s not only going to treat their symptoms, but treat the disease itself tells a patient that you are invested in their wellbeing.



Xiidra, lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5% is indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, DED.

Important safety information

Xiidra is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to lifitegrast or to any of the other ingredients.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions reported in five to 25% of patients were instillation site irritation, dysgeusia, and reduced visual acuity. Other adverse reactions reported in 1% to 5% of the patients were blurred vision, conjunctival hyperemia, eye irritation, headache, increased lacrimation, eye discharge, eye discomfort, eye pruritus and sinusitis.

To avoid the potential for eye injury or contamination of the solution, patients should not touch the tip of the single-use container to their eye or to any surface.

Contact lenses should be removed prior to the administration of Xiidra and may be reinserted 15 minutes following administration.

Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients below the age of 17 years have not been established.

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