Purpose of review: Recent increased awareness of dry eye disease (DED) by both clinicians and patients has been accompanied by improved recognition that it is a chronic disorder often requiring long-term management. DED, frequently associated with symptoms of discomfort and visual disturbance, also impairs quality of life (QoL), including aspects of physical, social, and psychological functioning. This review summarizes the available research on the impact of DED and its treatment on measures of QoL.
Recent findings: A relative dearth of data supporting the effectiveness of DED treatments as assessed by QoL measures exists. Both cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05% and hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic inserts have been associated with improvements in Ocular Surface Disease Index scores, a disease-specific measure of QoL, and with enhancement of patients' ratings regarding their ability to perform activities of daily living.
Summary: Because there is a lack of concordance between symptoms and diagnostic measures of DED, QoL measures provide clinicians a valuable tool for assessing the burden of disease as well as response to treatment. Such measures should be employed in clinical practice and in future trials of treatment modalities.