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  • Effects of Dry Eye on Activity and Productivity

    By Lynda Seminara
    Selected By: Stephen D. McLeod, MD

    Journal Highlights

    Ophthalmology, June 2021

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    In a longitudinal analysis within the Dry Eye Assessment and Management (DREAM) trial, Greco et al. assessed the effects of dry eye disease (DED) on general activity and work productivity. They found that severe DED was linked to low levels of activity and productivity.

    For this study, 535 participants with moderate or severe DED were asked to complete the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire at baseline and at the six- and 12-month marks. They also were evaluated for DED symptoms and signs at these time points. Assessments included conjunc­tival and corneal staining, tear-film breakup time (TBUT), and the Schirmer test.

    Work productivity and activity were assessed in relation to DED signs and symptoms via linear regression models that controlled for demographics and comorbidities. Main outcome measures were impairment of work productivity and general activity.

    The mean overall level of activity impairment was 24.5%. Among patients who were employed at baseline (n = 279; 52%), the mean scores were 2% for absenteeism, 18% for presenteeism (de­fined as impaired performance during working hours), and 19.6% for overall work impairment.

    Higher ocular surface disease index (OSDI) scores, correlated with greater absentee­ism, presentee­ism, and activity impairment. For each 10-unit difference in OSDI score, mean impairments in productivity and activity rose by 4.3% and 4.8%, respectively (p < .001). Although poor corneal staining and TBUT findings were associated with greater impairment in both forms of activity, longitudinal changes in these variables did not further affect either activity.

    Although this research did not ad­dress differences between people with and without DED, the effects of severe DED on productivity and general activity were well quantified. Results of this study boost the evidence of DED’s adverse economic and personal burdens, noted the authors, which may be relieved by better efforts to reduce DED symptoms.

    The original article can be found here.