ST. LOUIS—The World Council of Optometry (WCO) and Alcon have announced that they are extending their education initiative to advance global, evidence-based dry eye disease education, which according to the announcement has garnered widespread exposure and interest over the past two years. As part of the renewed collaboration, an update to the existing WCO Alcon Dry Eye Wheel is now available, the companies announced. This practical tool is designed to raise optometrists’ understanding of dry eye disease diagnosis and practical management, the two organizations said.

Now expanded to include content surrounding diet/dietary supplements, in-office and complex treatments, the latest version provides multifaceted, evidence-based knowledge that can be used in nearly all eyecare environments, according to the announcement. A dedicated website includes a series of dry eye webinars recorded with world-renowned opinion leaders and also provides a collection of resources that can be used in clinical and educational settings.

WCO president Sandra Block, OD, M. Ed., MPH, FAAO, FCOV, said, “Extending our partnership with Alcon supports the education of optometrists globally about practical measures to better address dry eye, a condition that, without proper diagnosis and treatment, can lead to ocular surface disease. This year, we are planning more collaboration with university educators to increase access to the WCO Alcon Dry Eye Wheel and related educational resources for future generations of eyecare professionals.”

“We are all becoming more aware of the growing incidence and impact of dry eye on our patients," said Carla Mack, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA, head, global and U.S. professional education and development for Alcon. Within the last year, we have seen publications further clarifying some of the issues contributing to this rise—from digital device use to social and environmental factors."

Dr. Mack continued, “We are proud to extend our ongoing partnership with the World Council of Optometry, reinforcing our commitment to helping make dry eye more understandable for both eyecare professionals and patients. The ultimate goal is to empower optometrists to engage in conversations about this multifactorial condition and educate optometrists on management options for their patients experiencing dry eye symptoms.”

More information on the updated version of the WCO Alcon Dry Eye Wheel and other activities planned for the second year of the partnership will be posted here and to the initiative’s dedicated website.