Results of a population-based questionnaire on the symptoms and lifestyles associated with dry eye

Cornea. 1999 Jul;18(4):408-11. doi: 10.1097/00003226-199907000-00003.


Purpose: This study was designed to assess public awareness and symptoms of dry eye in Japan by a population-based, self-diagnosis study.

Methods: Two thousand five hundred participants chosen randomly from the general population were sent a questionnaire consisting of 30 questions pertaining to symptoms and knowledge of dry eye.

Results: Awareness of the condition called "dry eye" was very high at 73%. Most of the knowledge of dry eye was obtained through the media (e.g., television, 58.8%; newspapers/magazines, 46.6%), and only a fraction of the knowledge was from physicians (6.8%). As many as 33% of participants responded that they believed they had dry eye according to the self-diagnosis criteria, of which 25% used over-the-counter eyedrops daily. The majority of eyedrop users were dissatisfied with their therapeutic effects, and only 11% sought professional help. Habits in lifestyles that were associated with self-diagnosed dry eye were contact lens use (p < 0.001), a history of allergic conjunctivitis (p = 0.002), and video display terminal tasks (p = 0.058).

Conclusion: Although public awareness of dry eye in Japan was high, only a minority of the population seems to consult professionals for diagnosis and symptomatic relief.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self-Examination
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*