Leslie O’Dell, OD, FAAO, tells Women in Optometry about opening the Dry Eye Center of Pennsylvania, a practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye disease. As part of Wheatlyn EyeCare, an established comprehensive optometric practice, O’Dell’s Dry Eye Center adds a much needed specialty to the already thriving clinic.
With approximately 26 million people reportedly experiencing symptoms of dry eye1, industry interest in the diagnosis and treatment of DED has grown. According to ClinicalTrials.gov (a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health), there are currently more than 100 different studies into aspects of dry eye disease. The growing dry eye population along with increasing risk factors such as drier climates, more computer screen use and higher levels of pollution in urban environments, is creating a demand for specialists like O’Dell1.
O’Dell has found that both doctors and patients appreciate having the specialized Dry Eye Center of Pennsylvania. She has seen an increase in patient referrals from local eye care providers and has received a growing number of inquiries from patients around the country looking for dry eye resources in their own area.
Depending on the cause of dry eye disease – aqueous deficiency, evaporative dry eye, or other factors such as demodex or anterior blepharitis – O’Dell reviews available research and technology to provide the best treatment option for her patients. This may include cyclosporine, artificial tears, punctum plugs, nutritional supplements and/or eyelid hygiene. When deciding on a treatment regimen, O’Dell believes in a proactive approach emphasizing what patients can do at home, in addition to in-office treatments.
O’Dell stresses the importance of evaluating and cleansing the lid and lash margin during exams. She suggests a daily lid hygiene regimen with a gentle cleanser such as ilast Clean® and ilast Care®. Both products are preservative free and contain hyaluronic acid, an ingredient known for its incredible water retention and positive effects on skin moisture2.
She notes in the article that many patients are willing to buy anti-aging or makeup remover products from their eye doctors. O’Dell sells eyelid hygiene and moisturizer products such as ilast® in her office, and is excited to continue offering a range of facial products to her patients as the products available in drug stores continue to multiply.
Read more about Dr. O’Dell, the Dry Eye Center of Pennsylvania and treatment of dry eye disease in Women in Optometry.
Leslie O’Dell is the Director of the Dry Eye Center of Pennsylvania. Dr. O'Dell is a member of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and served on the Executive Board of the Central Pennsylvania Optometric Society (CPOS). She was named CPOS’s Young Optometrist of the Year in 2008.