Dry Eye related latest research reveals rare truths, treatment methods

Findings of study indicate many suffer in silence due to lack of information and struggle for up to 36 months to get effective treatment

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eyesA latest study conducted in the United Kingdom suggests women of menopausal or post-menopausal age, contact lens users and regular screen users are unaware they are at increased risk of dry eye, which affects one in four people in Britain.

Dry eye is a condition which causes eyes to feel stingy, itchy or like something is in them. It happens when there is a problem with the tear film that normally keeps the eyes moist and lubricated, leading to inflammation and damage.

Findings of the research suggest many suffer in silence due to a lack of information and may have struggled for as many as three years to find an effective treatment.

Santen, a leading eye care specialist, has launched its long-lasting ‘artificial tear’, Cationorm, and online resource to handle the United Kingdom’s growing burden of dry eye disease.

Sore point

According to results of a new 2,000 plus person survey commissioned by Santen, Dry eye is a particularly sore point for women of menopausal or post-menopausal age, regular screen users and contact lens wearers. It affects 1 in 4 people in the UK

Apart from these groups being among the most likely to have dry eye, more than half (53 per cent) of those surveyed did not realise they were at risk.

According to the survey, close to a third of those with dry eye disease (32 per cent) agreed that they did not know where to find information on the condition, and almost half (42 per cent) of respondents who were using treatment for their dry eye disease said it took between one and three years to find an effective treatment.

Says Sai Kolli, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, “Dry eye is caused by eyes not making enough tears, or because the tears evaporate too quickly, making eyes feel dry, scratchy and irritated.”

In the last few months, screen usage has increased significantly and nearly all of us look at screens for hours each day, he said and added that this has a direct impact on the number of people that are likely to experience dry eye symptoms.

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As per these new survey findings, there remains a high level of misunderstanding about this disease among those most likely to be suffering.

(With inputs from The OnLook News Research Bureau)

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