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Painful Dry Eye Disease More Common Than One Might Think

Painful Dry Eye Disease More Common

Prevalence of Dry Eye Disease

Many people suffer from irritating and painful dry eye disease. As of 2023, between 16.7 million and 50.2 million Americans have dry eyes. This is between 5-15% of the population. Dry eye disease (DED), also known as dry eye syndrome (DES), keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), and keratitis sicca, is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface due to a loss of homeostasis (defined as a state of balance among all the body systems needed for the body to survive and function correctly) of the tear film.

Certain people are more likely to develop this uncomfortable problem than others. While it can happen to both men and women, post-menopausal women are most affected. In fact, about twice as many women as men in the United States suffer from dry eye syndrome. Not only that, but women tend to report much more severe symptoms than men, too. Eating foods low in vitamin A (liver, carrots, and broccoli are a good source) or low in omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, fish and vegetable oils) as well as wearing contact lenses or having a history of refractive surgery can also play a factor.

Dry eye is a chronic, progressive condition that, thankfully, can be controlled, but it doesn’t go away. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent damage. Common symptoms may include blurred eyesight, sensitivity to light, itching, red and/or watery eyes or a stinging, burning sensation. As we age, our tear production decreases. Dry eyes can also be caused from systemic diseases such as lupus, diabetes, or Graves’ disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid eye disease.

Therapies for Dry Eye Syndrome

Artificial tears or ointments, increased blinking, eliminating dust and dryness from the environment, and diet modification may help treat dry eyes, as well as:

DHRpro's Clinical Reports Identify DES Patients and Histories

In order to stay on top of your at-risk patient population, a process to identify and review these patients is needed. At DHRpro, our clinical reports can help bring patients with dry eye syndrome to light so you can stay on top of your DES patient population. Not only can DHRpro identify patients with conditions like DES and MGD, we return the patient’s most recent visit, plus visits when important treatments occurred, without having to leave the report. Unlike standard reporting systems, our interactive clinical reporting allows you to review your assessment and plan, view diagnostic imaging, and see important clinical information, all without leaving the report. When a condition, left untreated, can lead to permanent impairment, having a solution in place to stay on top of a treatment regimen is a crucial requirement for ensuring patient health.