In Focus: Dry eye disease knowledge deficit

Lucy Patchett summarises DED research spotlighting lack of public awareness and understanding

Recent research has highlighted the need to boost awareness around dry eye disease (DED). A global report by Rohto Dry Aid showed that, despite the prevalence of DED, with one in two people likely to be a victim of the disease, 51% of people have no idea what DED is.

Optometrist Francesca Marchetti said people lacked understanding of the disease, why it occurred and potential symptoms. ‘Dry eye happens when you don’t produce enough tears or the consistency of the tear changes. This leads to inadequate lubrication of the tear film with inflammation and likely damage to the eye surface. Watery, itchy, gritty or dry eyes for no apparent reason, are the most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Tired eyes, blurred vision and sensitivity to light are just three other dry eye symptoms. Your eyes may also feel sore, irritated, burning or stinging,’ she said.

She added that dry eye had many causes from age to the environment, including wind, cold, indoor air pollution and central heating, diet, certain medications and some health conditions.

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