Dry eye disease affects women at a disproportionately higher rate than men. It has a substantial negative impact on those affected, and on healthcare systems. Its impact is wide-reaching, including those affected and the healthcare systems that care for them.
Once viewed as a painful nuisance, dry eye disease (DED) today is considered a “critical and significant public health issue” in the United States.
Symptoms include watery eyes, sensitivity to light, a burning sensation in the eyes, eye grittiness, and blurred and fluctuating vision, all of which may negatively impact quality of life.1,2
An estimated 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with DED,3 but the actual number of Americans suffering from dry eye symptoms is likely much higher. Some reports indicate that nearly half of all U.S. adults experience dry eye signs and symptoms,4 and 33% of patients in eye care clinics present with complaints about dry eye.3
Market Scope expects manufacturers’ global revenues for dry eye treatments to rise from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $6.2 billion in 2023 due to the “rapid growth of elderly populations, increasing wealth, and growing awareness of the availability of treatment in these markets.”5
According to the 2013 National Health and Wellness Survey, approximately 6 million people reported experiencing DED symptoms, but they had not been formally diagnosed with DED.3 Further, when a DED diagnosis is made, clinicians frequently underestimate the severity. One study found that more than 54% of patients over age 65 and 43% of the female patients had their dry eye underestimated by their clinician.6 Another study found that clinician assessment underestimated dry eye severity in 41% of patients by at least one grade compared with the patients’ self-assessment.7
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4. Adler R. Dry eye syndrome: Symptoms and causes. All About Vision, 2017.
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12. Schaumberg DA, Uchino M, Christen WG, et al. Patient reported differences in dry eye disease between men and women: impact, management, and patient satisfaction. PLoS One 2013;8(9):e76121.
13. Um SB, Yeom H, Kim NH, et al. Association between dry eye symptoms and suicidal ideation in a Korean adult population. PLoS One 2018;13(6):e0199131.
14. Moon JH, Kim KW, Moon NJ. Smartphone use is a risk factor for pediatric dry eye disease according to region and age: a case control study. BMC Ophthalmol 2016;16(1):188.
15. Hoffman M. Survey Data Reveals Major Concerns About Screen Use, Chronic Dry Eye. MD Magazine, 2018.
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