Dry Eye Disease Practice in Ghana: Diagnostic Perspectives, Treatment Modalities, and Challenges

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. SIGNIFICANCE There is a dearth of studies investigating the challenges encountered in dry eye practice. Profiling these barriers is crucial to improving dry eye diagnosis and patient care. PURPOSE This study aimed to examine the diagnostic and treatment perspectives, and challenges in dry eye practice in Ghana. METHODS An anonymous paper-based or web survey regarding dry eye practice pattern, practice challenges, and access to diagnostic tools was distributed to 280 potential participants. RESULTS One hundred thirteen respondents completed the survey. Case history (92.5%), fluorescein tear breakup time (87.5%), and corneal fluorescein staining (72.5%) were the topmost procedures used for dry eye diagnosis. A preserved lubricant drop was the most commonly prescribed treatment of mild, moderate, and severe dry eye at the rates of 77.0, 83.2, and 77.0%, respectively. A few respondents prescribed cyclosporine (2.7%) or punctal plugs (5.3%) across all disease severities, and none used scleral lens, autologous serum tears, or thermal pulsation. Graduate professional training influenced the practice pattern of 82.3% of respondents, whereas continuing professional education influenced less than 1%. Approximately 70.1 and 92.8% of optometrists considered referring dry eye in children and cases that are unresponsive to treatment, respectively. Eighty-eight percent of practitioners indicated they experience a challenge in dry eye practice, with limited access to diagnostic tools (77.9%) and limited availability of effective dry eye medication on the Ghanaian market (50.4%) being the most frequent challenges. More than 85% of respondents had access to a fluorescein dye or slit-lamp biomicroscope; however, none had access to a phenol red thread, lissamine green dye, osmolarity technology, or meibography device. CONCLUSIONS Practitioners' limited access to diagnostic tools/techniques and the limited effective dry eye treatments are major challenges encountered in dry eye practice in Ghana. Addressing these will improve dry eye practice and treatment outcomes in the country.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Osei KA; Cox SM; Nichols KK
  • Start Page

  • 137
  • End Page

  • 144
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 3