The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Abstract: VA study of dry eye impact on quality of life

Pretty rudimentary stuff being reconfirmed for the umpteenth time here, nonetheless it is encouraging to see the VA initiating this kind of study (oh, and to see a study of mostly MEN and dry eye). Not much comfort to the gentleman I spoke with the other day who was having no luck getting help at a VA hospital in another part of the country, sigh. Not that I am in the least inclined to pick on the VA - I'm not - in fact I used to get calls regularly from patients at one particular VA hospital who were getting GREAT care. Wish I could say the same for all the high-falutin' bigname medical institutions some dry eye patients have gone to in desperation.

Impact of Ocular Surface Symptoms on Quality of Life in a United States Veterans Affairs Population.

To evaluate the impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a veteran population receiving eye care services.

Cross-sectional survey study.

Setting: Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Patient population: Patients seen at the eye clinic between June and August 2010 were asked to fill out the Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ5) and the Impact of Dry Eye on Everyday Life (IDEEL) questionnaire.

Correlation between ocular surface symptoms and functionality.

Four hundred eighty-nine patients elected to fill out the DEQ5 questionnaire (36% response rate). The mean age of respondents was 66 years (standard deviation 12). Ninety-four percent were male; 62% were white and 37% were black. Using the DEQ5 as a surrogate measure of ocular surface symptoms, 65% of respondents reported at least mild ocular surface symptoms (DEQ5 ≥6) and 27% of them reported severe symptoms (DEQ5 ≥12). Black subjects had a 2-fold increased risk of severe symptoms compared to white subjects (odds ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.33-3.19). Several medications were associated with a significantly increased risk of severe symptoms, including glaucoma medications (1.7-fold increase), antidepressants (2.3-fold increase), and antihistamines (2.1-fold increase). There was an inverse correlation between DEQ5 and IDEEL scores with regard to ability to perform activities of daily living (n = 391, r = -0.54, P < .001), emotional well-being (n = 386, r = -0.63, P < .001), and the ability to work (n = 205, r = -0.57, P < .001). Fifty percent of patients with severe symptoms had documentation that their symptoms were addressed during the visit.

Severe ocular surface symptoms reduce the quality of life of Miami VAMC veterans. Eye care professionals should be vigilant in eliciting ocular surface complaints from their patients.

Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Pouyeh B, Viteri E, Feuer W, Lee DJ, Florez H, Fabian JA, Perez VL, Galor A.
Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida; Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.