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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 dateMarch
Duration25 contact hours over one academic term
Credits10 credits - CET points available
Module tutorsHeiko Pult (Leader)
Teifi James
Module codeOPT014

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 lectures (Powerpoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University’s e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There is an introductory webinar. Students will also attend for tutorials, workshops and case discussions over two consecutive days.

Written Coursework (50%): Students will be required to submit one piece of written coursework.

Practical Assessment (50%): Students will sit an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

  • 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