Dry Eye Syndrome and It's Impact on the Workplace
Dry eye syndrome is a multifactorial condition characterized by an unstable tear film resulting in symptoms of eye discomfort and visual disturbances. Quality of life studies have shown that dry eye syndrome has the potential to have a detrimental impact on patients’ daily living activities, with a significant proportion of people self-treating with over-the-counter (OTC) dry eye products, especially eye drops. What is not well documented is how dry eye syndrome influences the work place.
New Research Study Shows Impact of Dry Eyes on the Workplace - Loss of Productivity.
Here is an abstract from this clinical study.
The purpose of this non-interventional, cross sectional, prospective study was to assess the effect of dry eye disease on work productivity and performance of non–work-related activities, and people's satisfaction with OTC dry eye treatments. The study included 158 consecutive symptomatic dry eye patients at a number of clinical centers who were asked to complete Work Productivity and Activity Impairment and Ocular SurfaceDisease Index questionnaires and undergo standard dry eye diagnostic testing (Schirmer, tear break up time, corneal and conjunctival staining). Use of OTC dry eye medication, and satisfaction with OTC medication and symptom relief were also assessed.
The results indicate that dry eye syndrome did not contribute to absenteeism but did negatively affect work productivity and non-job related daily activities. The negative workplace performance effect experienced by people with dry eyes was significant (approximately 29%) and correlated with their self-assessment of dry eye symptoms but not clinical assessment. These results reinforce personal clinical experience that people with dry eyes tend to present with symptoms with few clinical signs to explain the symptoms. Another words tests for dry eyes were often negative.
The study did not address the number of people with dry eyes having to leave their jobs due to dry eyes.
The study didn't specifically address which occupations were most likely to be affected, but intuitively those jobs that require intensive computer usage in air-conditioned/heated work-spaces would be most likely. A majority of the study participants were utilizing OTC dry eye products and interestingly their opinion of the effectiveness of such products was more positive than their reported assessment of dry eye relief provided by the products. Another words, people with dry eyes want to believe over the counter eye drops will work, but the actual dry eye relief by using eye drops was low.
This is consistent with TheraLife 's assessment that for a high percentage of dry eyes, eye drops don't work.
This study was pubulished in the July issue of Ocular Surface News
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