The Dry Eye Zone

OSDI

Use OSDI’s easy-to-use smartphone app to track your dry eye progress, and to communicate effectively with your eye doctor about where you're at and where you want to be. OSDI is a simple 12-question dry eye symptom scorer that has been scientifically validated and used in clinical trials for ages.

OSDI dry eye symptom survey

How to use OSDI

  1. Download, print, complete. Add up your score. OR… get the free smartphone app and let it do the work.

  2. Repeat at least once a month. (Once a week would be great!)

  3. Email your scores to your eye doctor before every appointment (or bring hard copies if you don’t have the app). Use it as the basis for a conversation about where you are at and where you want to get to. Make sure it gets into your medical record.

  4. EXTRA CREDIT: If your eye doctor is not already using either OSDI or another symptom questionnaire regularly with their dry eye patients, have a conversation with them about it. If it helps you, it will help others.

About OSDI and how it can help YOU

What is it? See below. OSDI is a simple 12-question survey that rates the severity of your dry eye disease based on your symptoms. OSDI stands for the “Ocular Surface Disease Index”. It has been scientifically validated and has been used in clinical trials for dry eye drugs, devices and other remedies for more than 20 years.

Why should I use it? Have you ever had difficulty explaining to your eye doctor how your eyes feel and how much dry eye is affecting your daily life? That’s what a symptom scorer like OSDI can help with. It moves the conversation from subjective language to objective numbers. Communicating your symptoms in numbers helps ensure that your symptoms get taken seriously and are addressed. (Imagine if how your eyes felt mattered as much as your Schirmer or TBUT or osmolarity or meibography scores!) A symptom score is an important catalyst for conversations with your doctor about exactly where you’re at and where you want to be. Using this scorer regularly is also a key way to rate your progress after starting a treatment. How many of us can remember accurately how we felt a month, two months, three months, six months ago? A history of OSDI scores can give you a clearer view of where you’ve been and where you are now. Do I stay the course? Redirect? Maybe need more help? Using your symptom ‘trend line’ can help guide you and your doctor through these decisions.

Is it the only one? No! Today, there are several other “symptom surveys” available, such as McMonnies, SPEED, IDEEL and SANDE. They each have their strengths. The reason we recommend OSDI is because there is a smartphone app for it, making it by far the simplest, most convenient way to get started using a symptom scorer.

Is your doctor using a symptom scorer? One of the marks of a dry eye specialist is that they will always have their patients fill out a symptom survey of some kind at every visit - it’s an important to assess not only where you are today, but whether your treatments are working. But if your doctor has not started using a survey yet, please take the initiative and do it yourself. In doing so, you may end up helping more people than just yourself! Maybe your doctor will start offering this to their other patients! In ways like this, every one of us can take part in the process of raising the standard of care in dry eye!

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What is OSDI and why should I use it?