Evidence-based Program to Feature Dry Eye Prevalence, Diagnosis,
Professors Craig, Jones, and Wolffsohn to Lead World Council of Optometry and Alcon Dry Eye Disease Education Initiative
The World Council of Optometry (WCO) and Alcon have named three global experts as lead faculty for their new dry eye disease education initiative. The worldwide evidence-based program is designed to raise optometrists’ understanding of dry eye etiology and prevalence, diagnosis, and practical management.
Professors Jennifer Craig, Lyndon Jones, and James Wolffsohn will distill the growing amount of research and clinical evidence into accessible educational content. This will begin with a series of online events and content.
Professor Craig, PhD FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, FCLS, heads the Ocular Surface Laboratory in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). As a therapeutic research optometrist, she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, leads international multicenter clinical trials, and holds visiting academic appointments around the world.
Her research focus is the ocular surface, primarily dry eye disease and tear film dysfunction. She regularly delivers continuing education and research lectures and publishes widely in scientific and clinical press. She has contributed to the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society’s (TFOS) International Workshops on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Contact Lens Discomfort and served as Vice Chair for TFOS Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) II.
Professor Jones, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, is the Director of the Centre for Ocular Research & (Canada). His research interests focus on the interaction of novel and existing contact lens materials with the ocular environment, dry eye, and the development of novel materials for ocular drug delivery. He has authored more than 450 refereed and professional papers (including serving as lead author on the TFOS DEWS II Management and Therapy Report), a textbook, and has given more than 1,000 invited lectures at conferences worldwide.
Professor Wolffsohn, BSc, MBS, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO, is Head of the School of Optometry and Department of Audiology at Aston University (United Kingdom). His main research areas are the development and evaluation of ophthalmic instrumentation, myopia management, contact lenses, intraocular lenses, and tear film. He is a National Teaching Fellow, has published more than 290 full peer-reviewed papers, and presented at numerous international conferences.
He is the academic chair of the British Contact Lens Association, having previously served as President and was chair of the BCLA Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR).
Professor Craig said, “Chronic dry eye disease that adversely impacts daily life remains one of the most commonly reported problems in eye care practice globally. It’s an honor to be involved in this valuable collaboration between WCO and Alcon, which offers an exciting opportunity to raise awareness of this impactful disease and, using the best available scientific evidence, to support practitioners in any clinical setting across the world to deliver optimal care for patients
with dry eye.”
Professor Jones said, “Dry eye disease is a global issue that continues to grow in terms of the numbers of people it affects and the impact it has on sufferers. Data shows quite clearly the impact it has on eye health, ocular comfort, depression, and economic burden. I am delighted that the WCO has partnered with Alcon to make people more aware of the fact that dry eye disease is more than just an annoyance; it has a real impact that needs to be addressed. I am extremely excited to be part of the team raising awareness of this issue.”
Professor Wolffsohn said, “A substantial proportion of our patients have dry eye disease, impacting their quality of life. As eye care practitioners, we need to be unified in our differential diagnosis and evidence-based in our management of this chronic disease. The partnership between the WCO and Alcon offers great potential to raise the profile of dry eye disease and to improve the quality of eye care provided to patients worldwide.”
More information on the WCO and Alcon dry eye disease education initiative including the timing of the first educational session will be available in the coming weeks. Updates will be posted to www.worldcouncilofoptometry.info and to the initiative’s dedicated website, which is in development.