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Norihiko Yokoi, Georgi As Georgiev; Tear Film–Oriented Diagnosis and Tear Film–Oriented Therapy for Dry Eye Based on Tear Film Dynamics. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(14):DES13-DES22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-23700.
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In December 2010 and January 2012, 3% diquafosol sodium ophthalmic solution and 2% rebamipide ophthalmic suspension, respectively, appeared first in Japan as prescription drugs for the treatment of dry eye (DE). Since then, not only the diagnosis and treatment but also the understanding of the pathophysiology of DE have greatly advanced, and a new concept of layer-by-layer diagnosis and treatment for DE, respectively termed “tear-film–oriented diagnosis” (TFOD) and “tear-film–oriented therapy” (TFOT) was born. This new concept is currently in the process of expanding from Japan to other Asian countries. TFOD is the method used for the differential diagnosis of DE, which includes aqueous-deficiency DE (ADDE), decreased wettability DE (DWDE), and increased evaporation DE (IEDE), through the dynamics of tear film (TF) and breakup patterns (BUPs) after the eye is opened. BUPs and/or each diagnosed DE subtype are/is able to distinguish the insufficient components of the ocular surface that are responsible for each BUP in a layer-by-layer fashion. Aqueous fluid, membrane-associated mucins (especially MUC16), and the lipid layer and/or secretory mucins must be insufficient in ADDE, DWDE, and IEDE, respectively, and this allows for a layer-by-layer treatment to be proposed for each BUP via the supplementation of the insufficient components, using the topical therapy currently available. In Japan, TF breakup is regarded as a visible core mechanism for DE, and an abnormal breakup time (i.e., ≤5 seconds) and symptoms are currently used for the diagnosis of DE. Therefore, TFOD and TFOT could be an ideal and practical pathway for clinicians to manage DE.
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