As the increasing variety of treatments that are now available on the market. One clinic that has taken a unique approach to the disease is New Zealand's Auckland Eye, which has established its own Oasis Spa for dry eye patients - the only one of its kind in the country.
Clinical optometrist Ms Surekha Parag runs the spa under the supervision of Dr Dean Corbett, and she told Insight the concept behind the new approach was to make the whole experience more attractive to long-term sufferers.
"Because dry eye is chronic disease it's not just going to go away with one or two treatments - but you're also not going to go blind from it, or at least not from the usual dry eye condition. It's something people choose to come and do something about, so we thought we might as well make the experience more pleasant," she said.
"Instead of making it more clinical we decided to make it more like a spa experience. So we have nice artwork on the wall, diffusers and candles, whale music in the background and herbal teas."
"In the treatment room we have two options - the Optima IPL and the LipiFlow. We have a large full-body massage chair as well, so while the patients are receiving the LipiFlow treatment they can also have a body massage done."
The spa opened in March and has relied solely on referrals from in-house ophthalmologists rather than advertising, but Parag said it has already had to double the number of sessions it runs to meet demand. Another apparent drawcard has been the spa's LipiFlow equipment, which is currently the only one available in New Zealand.
"With IPL, people need to come back for multiple sessions, so it's quite time consuming and it also takes a while for the treatment to start having an effect. Sometimes it can take up to 12 treatments, so that's a lot to ask for someone to do that, especially during Summer months because it's all skin type dependent as well - they can't be tanning too much, they can't go on holidays, all these considerations fall into that," Parag said.
"With LipiFlow there are no such restrictions. It doesn't matter if you've been sunbathing, plus you only need to do one in-office treatment, as outside of this it can be managed off-site with things like heatpacks to maintain the treatment effect.
"We will get patients who aren't always willing to come here frequently as well and sometimes that's what we base it on. If they don't want to keep coming back then it will be LipiFlow."
- Article Published in Insight Magazine, August 2018. Click on the image below to view (page 32)