Do you often use InflammaDry? And, if so, what has been your experience with it?
We’re using the InflammaDry a lot already. The thing that’s really nice about InflammaDry is it gives us a good diagnostic marker. When a patient comes in and says that his or her eyes feel dry, we need to figure out why their eyes are dry. Is it inflammation? Is it lack of tear production? Or what’s going on that’s causing the symptoms. InflammaDry tells us right away whether it’s inflammation or not. If we know right away its inflammatory based, we need to be prescribing drops like Restasis and Xiidra. In those cases, we would immediately prescribe those drops. If, however, it’s not inflammatory based, that saves us time from trying drops that take awhile to work and then discovering that they didn’t help solve the problem. It gives us a more accurate and quicker way to diagnose the cause.
Do you get immediate results or does it still take time for the patient to come back and find everything’s cleared up?
It depends – the InflammaDry gives results in a minute, so we are able to make recommendations that day when we do the dry eye evaluation. If it is an inflammatory based problem, depending on what drops we prescribe, that dictates how fast the patient will be able to notice or feel a difference. There’s a big difference in how quickly they are non-symptomatic with either Xiidra or Restasis. Typically we’re going to see them back in 1-3 months regardless. But if we prescribe Xiidra, for example, they will feel better much faster; whereas, Restasis takes a lot longer to help their eyes begin to feel better.
Does InflammaDry help you as far as blepharitis treatment or are basic scrubs also part of the process?
Not necessarily because InflammaDry assesses whether the eyes are dry and looks for inflammatory MMP-9* markers in the tear film. InflammaDry itself is not necessarily going to change things but rather it helps to observe the eye. In cases of blepharitis, we are able to see crusting along the lids and redness as well. We know with blepharitis that it’s definitely going to be more inflammatory based, while the InflammaDry would help more with the actual dry eye.
*Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9: A reliable marker for inflammation.
So basically, an optometrist is using InflammaDry to help them make a clear diagnosis for the dryness, but the optometrist will make their own decision as to the course of action. Is that right?
Oh, yes, absolutely. InflammaDry starts by taking a sample of tears by that touching the bottom part of the white part of the eye, the conjunctiva with a soft fabric. Then, you put the fabric into a solution to develop and based on the results shown, we’ll know whether there’s an inflammation or not. Also, depending on how the results show, for example the colors are darker, this will tell us how much inflammation there is. From there, we use a diagnostic tool to decide the proper course of treatment.
As far as general dry eyes in areas you serve in Kentucky, should anyone come in for this or is there something specific they should look for in order to come book an appointment?
Yes, the biggest thing with dry eyes is symptoms. We can look at the eyes and predict that the patient probably feels uncomfortable. But more than anything else is symptomology: does the patient feel uncomfortable? Are they having trouble with their contacts or at the computer? Do they have trouble when reading a lot, working, or driving? The “I feel” is probably one of the biggest things we look at as far as the need to do the InflammaDry test.
How soon should someone come in when they have symptoms?
Anytime or right away. The sooner you come in to start treatment the sooner your eyes are going to feel better.