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A new PBS approved treatment is now available for Australians living with persistent dry eye disease (DED).

The new treatment, Cationorm, is a preservative-free, hydrating and lubricating emulsion that uses cationic nanoemulsion technology to target and treat DED, available from 2 August 2021.

Delivered in a 10ml multi-dose bottle, Cationorm protects the surface of the eye, reducing the discomfort and irritation of persistent dry eye caused by prolonged use of contact lenses, or environmental conditions.

Tens of millions of people worldwide are affected by DED, with the prevalence involving symptoms with or without clinical signs, ranging from approximately 5 per cent, to 50 per cent.

There are many potential causes of DED, however an increase in mask wear during the COVID-19 pandemic is thought to accelerate many dry eye symptoms within patients. With face masks becoming an essential uniform of working and daily life, the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE) has shared advice to support optometrists in examining patients that exhibit dry eye symptoms related to prolonged face mask use.

While DED cannot be cured, various treatment options can provide relief and alleviate discomfort. The availability of preservative-free drops, like Cationorm, can provide a welcome option for clinicians and patients suffering from this condition.

For more information on PBS listed treatments in optometry, visit the Prescribing medicines and PBS section of our website.

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