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Impact of dry eye disease increases with severity of symptoms: results from a patient survey in the UK

Poster Details

First Author: P.Hossain UK

Co Author(s):    J. Markowitz   P. Marquis   J. Meunier   C. Joseph   C. Siffel   I. Ozer Stillman     

Abstract Details


Dry eye disease (DED) is a chronic condition that has been under-researched in Europe, specifically in terms of its impact on daily life. This cross-sectional survey study in the UK (UK) was undertaken to assess the humanistic burden of DED symptoms on outcomes such as impact on activity limitations, socio-emotional aspects, and work productivity.


A broad age-range of adults in UK were recruited to an online survey. A total of 1002 participants with self-reported DED answered eligibility questions, provided consent via a web-based screener, and were enrolled. The survey included validated instruments and ad-hoc questions. Clinical endorsement of questions and ethical approval were obtained.


Participants with self-reported DED completed a 45-minute online survey. Severity of DED symptoms were assessed by the Eye Dryness Score (EDS, visual analogue scale [0–100, 0=no discomfort, 100=maximal discomfort]). Participants also completed the Visual Function Questionnaire-28 Revised (VFQ28-R), as well as the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire. Half of the participants completed the Impact of Dry Eye on Everyday Life (IDEEL) questionnaire. Scores from these questionnaires (0–100 scale, higher score indicates greater symptom impact) were calculated in severity groups defined by EDS: EDS<40 (group 1), 40≤EDS<60 (group 2), and EDS≥60 (group 3).


As indicated by mean VFQ28-R total scores, the impact on visual function is worse for participants with severe EDS-scored DED symptoms versus those with less severe symptoms: mean±SD scores were: group 1, 74±12; group 2, 69±13; group 3, 67±12. Overall work (n=410) and activity impairment (n=1002), based on WPAI, were higher for groups with higher DED severity. IDEEL outcomes (completed by 500 participants) confirmed this trend of worsening outcomes by worse/ higher EDS levels. However, survey data did not suggest an impact on absenteeism among participants who answered they were currently working.


The results of this online survey demonstrate that the symptoms of DED have effects on the daily lives of people who experience them. Higher symptom severity is associated with greater impacts on activities, socio-emotional functioning, and work productivity (among participants who were currently working). The difference in VFQ28-R scores between severity group 1 (the least severe) and groups 2 and 3 (the most severe) was more than half the standard deviation, a common distribution-based indicator of meaningfulness. This finding is consistent with conceptual expectations and clinical opinions.

Financial Disclosure:

has significant investment interest in a company producing, developing or supplying product or procedure presented, receives consulting fees, retainer, or contract payments from a competing company, receives consulting fees, retainer, or contract payments from a company producing, developing or supplying the product or procedure presented, is employed by a for-profit company with an interest in the subject of the presentation

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