The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) presented the conclusions and recommendations of the TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II (DEWS II) during a special session of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Baltimore. The TFOS DEWS II was designed to achieve a global consensus concerning multiple aspects of dry eye disease, and is the sequel to the original TFOS DEWS of 10 years ago.
The objectives of TFOS DEWS II, which were explained by J. Daniel Nelson, MD, the Workshop Chair, were to update the definition, classification and diagnosis of dry eye, critically evaluate the epidemiology, pathophysiology, mechanism, and impact of this disorder, address its management and therapy, and develop recommendations for the design of clinical trials to assess pharmaceutical interventions for dry eye treatment.
This TFOS DEWS II initiative is very important, because dry eye disease is a global problem, afflicting over 30 million people in the United States alone, and is one of the most frequent causes of patient visits to eye care practitioners. “Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage, and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles,” stated Dr. Jennifer P. Craig, the Workshop Vice-Chair.
“What’s fantastic about the TFOS DEWS II is that we had PhDs, MDs, ODs, and patients involved in this 3-year initiative,” Amy Grant Sullivan, Executive Director, TFOS, said in an interview with Eyewiretoday.com. “This will greatly impact on a global perspective, the future of dry eye research, the future of diagnostics therapeutics, and also how clinicians will be interacting with their patients.”
“TFOS DEWS II involved the efforts of 150 clinical and basic research experts from around the world, who utilized an evidence-based approach and a process of open communication, dialogue and transparency to increase our understanding of dry eye disease,” said David A. Sullivan, PhD, the Workshop Organizer. This process required more than 2 years to complete.
The TFOS DEWS II report will be published by The Ocular Surface and distributed to scientists, clinicians, and patients worldwide. A downloadable version of the document and additional material will be available on the TFOS website: www.TearFilm.org. Translations of the report will be offered in numerous languages, including but not limited to English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.