Dry Eye Treatment in Canada with Dr. Claudine Courey
Dr. Claudine Courey has always been interested in optometry, and she fell in love with the profession at a young age. She realized that it was a great way to combine seeing patients with both business and fashion. After becoming an optometrist, she began diving more deeply into scleral contact lenses and other lenses used to treat anterior segment disease. Through this, she discovered just how important treating dry eye disease can be both for her patients and her practice.
She began treating corneal pathology, such as keratoconus, with scleral lenses but found that she was getting more and more referrals for patients with dry eye disease. In working with these patients, Dr. Courey discovered that dry eyes really impact quality of life in so many ways. She soon found that spending time with these patients became the most rewarding part of her career, as she could see both the signs of dry eye improving as well as the patient’s quality of life overall.
Dry Eye Treatment Protocol
Dr. Courey works in an OD/MD setting with both optometrists and ophthalmologists, which is helpful for having all of the top of the line equipment. If you come into her office, you’ll receive a dry eye questionnaire (Ocular Surface Disease index or a French version) which helps validate changes in how your eyes feel over time. Tear meniscus height will be measured as well as the shape of the cornea. A LipiScan is performed on every single patient to view the meibomian glands, and this occurs before the patient ever enters the doctor’s room.
At that time, you’d tell Dr. Courey your dry eye story. This could include when your symptoms began, what you think may have contributed to a change, what makes your eyes better or worse, what you’re using for treatment now, and what your expectations are for treatment and relief.
And this is the most important work she does - listens. She really gets to know the patient to find out their goals. Is it being comfortable while reading or working on the computer? Maybe you’re not comfortable driving and would love to be able to drive to watch your grandkids play soccer, being comfortable while watching their game. Dry eye treatment is very much a partnership between doctor and patient.
By pinpointing your goals, Dr. Courey can then make a recommendation for medications, lifestyle changes, and other things that can make a big difference in the way your eyes feel and the life you’re able to live.
First Line of Treatment
Dr. Courey will first evaluate what you’re currently using to treat your dry eyes. If this includes artificial tears, keep in mind that not all are created equal. She’ll recommend the ones she believes are best for that patient and ensure the patient knows why she’s making that recommendation.
After this, lifestyle factors are addressed since she likes to treat dry eye disease as naturally as possible while getting the greatest results for the patient. She admits that she doesn’t have a particular recipe because each and every dry eye patient is different. She tends to follow the DEWS II recommendations, which are as follows:
"Photo from https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/ "
The Benefits of Scleral Lenses
Since she’s very comfortable with scleral lenses, Dr. Courey may reach for these before other doctors would. Those with chronic dryness on their cornea often benefit greatly from these. Basically, scleral lenses are large diameter rigid contact lenses that are filled with non-preserved saline before insertion into the eyes. This bathes the eyes in tears throughout the day and can be of great benefit for those with dry eye disease. If you’d like to learn more about scleral lenses for dry eye disease, check out this interview.
No matter what she prescribes for the patient, she makes sure to send them home with written instructions on what to do for home treatment. Sometimes, it can seem overwhelming because there are so many treatment options, but instructions have really helped her patients succeed in their dry eye “homework”. This worksheet includes not only step-by-step instructions but also recommendations for products that patients should use, whether they prefer to purchase in-office or online.
Eye Drop Shop
A few years ago, Dr. Courey started Eye Drop Shop due to a need that her patients had. She saw that many of them preferred to order their products online, so she created a website where they can do just that. If you’re in Canada and love our Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser, you can order directly from her site and have it shipped to you for a better price than having it shipped from the US. If you’re in the US, she’s opening up an online shop here as well, and you can find that here.
visit their website and give them a call. If you’d like to follow Eye Drop Shop on social media, make sure to check out her Facebook pageand Instagram feed.
About Dr. Courey
Dr. Claudine Courey is an optometrist based out of Montreal, Canada. After graduating from the University of Montreal she furthered her studies to first complete her Residency and then a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Corneal Disease & Contact Lenses. She then went on to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) as well as a Fellow of the Scleral Lens Society (FSLS). She is passionate about helping patients with dry eye disease and has been invited as a guest lecturer across Canada and the US as well as Europe to speak on the topic (Fun fact! She is also double board certified – Canada AND the USA!) She sees patients at Bellevue Clinque, an OD/MD practice where she runs a dry eye specialty clinic in Montreal.