Many may be surprised to hear that Dry Eye is actually a disease. It is considered a significant international health concern, affecting millions of people around the world. When people come into an eye care facility for medical reasons, dry eye is the #1 reason most of the time.
Those who suffer from Dry Eye Disease know very well the symptoms of burning, dryness, discomfort and even blurry vision that can occur. People with Dry Eyes are 2-3X more likely to report problems with activities such as reading, using computers or driving. The loss of productivity at work is a huge societal impact. Additionally, the average cost of Dry Eye management is $11,302 per patient (US statistic). In one European study Dry eye was perceived as a disease or handicap by 1/3 of respondents, and a discomfort by 2/3. Up to 10% of the population over 50 years of age define their dry eye condition as “severe, with major impact on quality of life”.
Dry Eye Disease increases with age, however recent studies in school children and young adults show that dry eye has a high prevalence in these groups as well. This points to the impact of computer screen use in contributing to the early onset of Dry Eye Disease.
Medications, genetics as well as environment (lack of humidity) are all factors to consider when treating this debilitating condition. At MVO we have a special interest in Dry Eye Disease – there are many new treatments available. The right treatment for you depends on the specific type of dry eye you have as well as managing many possible contributing factors. Ask us at your next eye exam about how we can help you.