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A Closer Look: Inside Alcon’s Partnership with the WCO for Dry Eye Education

Together, Alcon and the World Council of Optometry (WCO) have formed an exciting global dry eye education initiative to arm optometrists with the latest scientific knowledge and understanding of dry eye disease, a pervasive and chronic condition that negatively impacts the quality of life for sufferers.

Some common symptoms of dry eye disease include irritation, discomfort, soreness, burning sensations, and more. At a time when dry eye disease prevalence is widespread and on the rise, there is no better time to begin educating and guiding the global optometry community so they can better help dry eye patients.

Here’s a closer look at the exciting new initiative.

To our knowledge, there’s no other dry eye education initiative of this scale and scope.

- Carla Mack, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA, Global Head, Professional Affairs for Alcon

Dry Eye on the Rise

There’s a perfect storm brewing for dry eye issues around the globe. Aging populations, skyrocketing digital screen usage and environmental triggers all play into ever-growing dry eye challenges for patients everywhere. Worldwide, 1.4 billion people have symptoms of dry eye—and it’s on the rise.

As prevalence increases, many Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) globally are eager to better understand how to diagnose and effectively manage the condition. This partnership aims to raise optometrists’ understanding of dry eye and deliver resources on practical management.

For example, in a recent study, patients with dry eye were 2-3x more likely to report difficulties in daily activities such as reading, driving and watching TV than those without dry eye.1

“The impact of dry eye on quality of life is comparable to other disabling conditions,” explains Dr. Carla Mack, Global Head, Professional Affairs for Alcon. “Even mild-to-moderate dry eye can reduce a person’s quality of life. We’re excited to help more optometrists access the latest data and world-class faculty so that more patients who suffer from dry eye disease can find treatment and relief.”

Connecting ECPs with Top Experts

The WCO membership extends to over 116,000 optometric Eye Care Professionals in six global regions and 46 country-level organizations. Alcon and the WCO have enlisted world-class dry eye authorities to bring the most up-to-date research and clinical data to WCO members and all Eye Care Practitioners who can leverage it in finding solutions for their patients.

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Jonathon Bench, International Director of Professional Affairs at Alcon explains, “World-renowned Professors Jennifer Craig, Lyndon Jones and James Wolffsohn each bring unique perspectives and impressive research to the dry eye education conversation. With their collective insights, we’ll distill the growing amount of clinical research and evidence into easily accessible educational content.”

How the Initiative Works

The evidence-rich initiative will deliver the latest science to optometrists, empowering them to influence better outcomes for dry eye patients worldwide. Through a series of live and on-demand events, leading experts will help optometrists throughout the world better understand, diagnose and manage the intricacies of dry eye disease. In addition, a dedicated website with a comprehensive suite of practical multimedia materials will be available to make the content as accessible and practical as possible.

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“It’s an honor to be involved in this valuable collaboration between WCO and Alcon, which offers an exciting opportunity to raise awareness of this impactful disease,” said Professor Jennifer Craig, who heads the Ocular Surface Laboratory in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. “Using the best available scientific evidence, we aspire to support practitioners in any clinical setting across the world to deliver optimal care for patients with dry eye.”

The first event will take place on November 8 and be available in multiple time zones. The event includes an interactive live chat to give participants worldwide access to these distinguished experts at no cost. Registration is now open at https://bit.ly/DryEyeMitigation.

"To our knowledge, there's no other dry eye education initiatie of this scale and scope," revealed Dr. Mack. "The WCO has a global reach that will help us deliver this important information to optometrists around the world, ultimately helping more people see brilliantly."

Alcon & WCO Dry Eye Education Initiative

Webinar #1 (of 4): “Dry Eye Disease Mitigation”

The “Dry Eye Disease Mitigation” digital event will be presented on November 8, 2022, in three separate time zones:

5 p.m. HKT/SST = Hong Kong/Singapore
Register at https://bit.ly/DryEyeMitigation

6 p.m. CET = Central Europe
Register at https://bit.ly/DryEyeMitigation

6 p.m. PST = Pacific Standard Time/Los Angeles
Register at https://bit.ly/DryEyeMitigation



  1. Miljanovic B, Dana R, Sullivan DA, Schaumberg DA (2007) Impact of dry eye syndrome on vision-related quality of life. Am J Ophthalmol 143 (3): 409-415