Though I am not a big fan of questionnaires as often times they can provide confounding factors…I wanted to share a British Journal of Ophthalmology publication titled “Prevalence and risk factors of dry eye disease in a British female cohort” by Vehof et al which sought out to estimate the prevalence and risk factors of dry eye disease (DED). They evaluated a cohort in the UK in a cross-sectional association study of 3824 women from the TwinsUK cohort. The results confirm previous reports of incidences of about 10% reporting DED and concomitant use of artificial tears. More than 20% had DED symptoms in the past 3 months. It raises the question “are theses symptoms truly from dry eye or some other form of ocular surface disease (OSD)? It really comes down to the clinical presentation and expertise by the examiner. While many forms of OSD can be great masqueraders, today we have the ability to perform a much more detailed examination using point-of-care tests that can reduce chair-time, improve accuracy of the diagnosis and possibly most important, use these tools such as tear osmolarity and MMP-9 to educate our patients with real, objective lab results. We can’t forget the internalized issues that DED can lead to as found in this study, “Subjects with DED symptoms scored significantly lower on self-perceived health compared with controls (p-0.001). Dry eye is not just an inconvenience! It is a disease that will be the most common condition you see each day in clinic. They report a significant association with DED risk factors of cataract surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, migraine and stroke to name a few. Doesn’t it feel good to improve your patients’ quality of life (QOL)?
Read the abstract here.