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The UAB School of Optometry has partnered with members of the vision community in recognizing July as Dry Eye Awareness Month.

The partnership, which is being led by the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research and the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), is raising awareness of the disease that affects more than 30 million people in the United States alone. The School of Optometry is the only academic center of the 13 international vision partners.

The focus on dry eye is timed with the publication in The Ocular Surface journal of the TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II) Report.

Kelly K. Nichols, O.D., M.P.H., Ph.D, dean of the School of Optometry, and Jason J. Nichols, O.D., M.P.H. Ph.D., assistant vice president for Industry Research and Development at UAB, were part of the TFOS steering committee that developed the report. The highlights of the report will be presented at a July 12 Congressional briefing entitled “Dry Eye: An Updated Definition, A Greater Impact on Vision Health.”

TFOS DEWS II is the first re-examination of the topic since its initial release in 2007 and will update the definition, classification and diagnosis of dry eye; critically evaluate the epidemiology, pathophysiology, mechanism and impact of the disease; address its management and therapy; and develop recommendations for the design of clinical trials to assess pharmaceutical interventions.

The vision community and its coalition partners supporting Dry Eye Awareness Month include:

Alliance for Eye and Vision Research

American Academy of Opthalmology

American Academy of Optometry

American Optometric Association

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

HealthyWomen

Prevent Blindness

Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation

Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society

UAB School of Optometry

Women's Eye Health

To learn more about Dry Eye Awareness Month, click here.