Ocular Surface Optimization: Understand the Signs of Ocular Surface Disease

Updated on December 1, 2021

If you have someone who is getting ready for cataract surgery, you need to put them in the best position possible to be successful. This means investing in ocular surface optimization with advanced materials such as Prokera cryopreserved amniotic membrane. Already, numerous ocular professionals have realized the benefits of going with PROKERA for Patients. Unfortunately, there are many situations where the patient’s ocular surface is not necessarily ready for this procedure. If the ocular surface is not optimized, ocular professionals may be working with incorrect measurements. As a result, they could be working with the wrong numbers, meaning that patients are not going to be satisfied with their results.

One of the biggest reasons why the ocular surface may not be optimized is that the patient is suffering from ocular surface disease. Therefore, it is important to understand the signs of ocular surface disease and to correct them before the procedure takes place. 

What Is Ocular Surface Disease?

So, what is ocular surface disease? Ocular surface disease is not something that is a single disease. Instead, it refers to a group of disorders that target the surfaces of the eyes. If these diseases impact someone’s eyesight, they can make a significant difference in someone’s overall quality of life.

Sadly, there are a lot of situations where ocular surface disease is not accurately diagnosed. As a result, someone may sign up for ocular surgery, such as cataract surgery, without having ocular surface disease treated. If this is not treated appropriately, the procedure may not be successful. As a result, patients may not have their vision restored, or they could suffer serious complications.

For these reasons, it is important for patients and ocular professionals to be aware of how ocular surface disease might present. That way, it can be adequately treated before the day of the operation.

What Are the Types of Ocular Surface Disease?

Because there are numerous types of ocular surface disease, it can present in many shapes and forms. Similar to other ocular conditions, some forms of ocular surface disease are more severe than others. Some of the most common signs of ocular surface disease include:

  • Dry Eye Syndrome: Exactly as it sounds, this is a condition that can lead to dry eyes. If someone is not producing enough tears, they may feel like there is sandpaper in their eyes. Without enough tears, it will be difficult for patients to recover from ocular surgery.
  • Seasonal Allergies: Seasonal allergies are a specific type of ocular surface disease as well. Even though seasonal allergies cannot necessarily be cured, they can be managed, helping someone manage the surfaces of their eyes before the operation. 
  • Blepharitis: This is a condition that impacts the oil glands of the eyes. There are small glands that are responsible for secreting oils that play a role in tear production. This condition takes place when the oil glands on the inside of the eyelid become inflamed, making it hard for someone to keep the eyes moist.
  • Keratitis: Keratitis is another inflammatory condition that impacts the eyes. In this case, the cornea of the eye becomes inflamed. The condition usually presents with pain, redness, and blurry vision. It is important to get this condition treated before receiving ocular surgery.
  • Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis is another common type of ocular surface disease. This is a condition that leads to inflammation of the conjunctivae of the eyes. It usually presents with red, inflamed eyes that leads to an increase in tear production, itching, and swelling. 
  • Autoimmune Conditions: There are several types of autoimmune conditions that can lead to ocular surface disease as well. One of the most common examples is Sjogren’s disease, which can target some of the glands throughout the eyes, impairing their function. 

These are just a few of the most common examples of ocular surface disease. It is important to make sure the condition is treated prior to receiving ocular surgery. 

How Is This Treated?

The treatment of ocular surface disease is going to vary depending on the type of condition someone has. For example, the treatment of seasonal allergies is usually treated using antihistamines. These are designed to control the body’s allergic response, preventing seasonal allergies from leading to inflammation of the eyes.

If someone is suffering from dry eye syndrome, this is usually treated using artificial tears. People may have to drop tears directly into their eyes to prevent their eyes from drying out. This is important for ocular surface optimization, making sure the surface of the eyes is ready for a surgical procedure.

If someone has been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, this is something that might be treated using immunomodulators or steroids. It depends on the exact type of condition someone has. It is usually helpful to work with a rheumatologist in the management of this type of condition.

All of these treatment options can play a role in ocular surface optimization. Prior to someone receiving ocular surgery, it is critical to take a closer look at the surfaces of the eye. That way, they can be placed in the best position possible to respond appropriately to ocular surgery. This is critical for ensuring patients are satisfied with their outcomes. 

Make Sure Patients are Ready for Ocular Surgery

If you have patients that are getting ready for ocular surgery, such as cataract surgery, you need to make sure their eyes are ready for this procedure. Unfortunately, there are a lot of patients who suffer from ocular surface disease. Sadly, many patients do not have any symptoms of ocular surface disease. Therefore, a cursory history and physical exam is not going to be enough to detect this condition.

It is important to do a detailed exam to make sure patients are not suffering from ocular surface disease. Then, if they are suffering from ocular surface disease, it is important for ocular professionals to treat this comprehensive leave before the procedure begins. That way, they can put their patients in the best position possible to recover from ocular surgery.

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