OPT014: Management of Tear Film Disorders

This module is not simply just about dry eye. It aims to provide eye care professionals with the opportunity to enhance their skills in the assessment and management of tear film disorders in their practice, at an advanced level. As well as theoretical learning, students will gain hands-on experience of both the classical and more novel techniques that they can immediately adopt in their clinical practice. The use of punctal dilation and lacrimal syringing as diagnostic tests will also be part of this training.

Start dateDurationCreditsPrerequisitesModule tutorsModule code
March 2017 and March 201825 contact hours over one academic term10 credits

CET points available
NoneHeiko Pult (Leader)

Katharine Evans 
Teifi James
OPT014

Additional information: This module complements OPT004, OPT018 and OPT019.

To acquire knowledge and understanding at an advanced level about:

  • The structure and composition of the tear film
  • The prevalence of dry eye and related conditions
  • The aetiology of tear film disorders
  • How tear film disorders can be detected and managed
  • Use of patient symptom questionnaires
  • Punctal dilation, lacrimal syringing and punctual plugs
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction.

To apply this knowledge to given clinical situations and demonstrate how you would:

  • Take an accurate history with respect to tear film disorders
  • Conduct a differential diagnosis of tear film disorders
  • Dilate the lacrimal puncta and carry out a syringe flush in order to evaluate patency
  • To critically evaluate a clinical situation and suggest appropriate management of a patient with respect to a diagnosed tear film disorder.

This module is taught via 9 lectures (PowerPoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University's e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied.

Students will also attend for tutorials and complementary workshops, over two consecutive days. The workshops enable students to hone their clinical assessment techniques with patients, and the tutorials enable guided discussion of typical case presentations from optometric practice.

Online examination (40%)

There is a MCQ test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus which students take at the end of the lecture series for final assessment. Visual Recognition and Interpretation of Clinical Signs (VRICS) tests will be included in these tests. VRICS are similar to MCQs but each question is linked to image slides of relevant cases.

Written coursework (30%)

Students will be required to submit two pieces of written coursework.

Practical assessment (30%)

Students will be marked on their clinical performance against a set of transparent criteria as they undertake station exams, plus the assessment of a patient who has symptoms of a tear film disorder.

  • Prevalence and causes of dry eye.
  • Relevant anatomy and physiology of the tear film and ocular surface.
  • Methods to assess the tear film.
  • Contact lens related dryness symptoms.
  • Use of questionnaires to assess patient comfort.
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
  • Treatment options for dry eye.
  • Causes, evaluation and management of epiphora.
  • Lacrimal syringing and punctal dilation.

Academic skills

  • The interpretation of data
  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning

Subject specific skills

  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level
  • The enhancement of clinical examination techniques
  • To develop practical skills to assess and manage people with tear film disorders
  • Appropriate management plans for dry eye, watery eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction

Generic skills

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Improve problem solving skills
  • Communication skills