Purpose: This study was performed to assess the impact of dry eye on patients' quality of life (QOL) and to analyze the association between subjective symptoms and ocular surface findings of dry eye.
Methods: The study population consisted of 158 patients with dry eye aged 20 years or older who visited any of the 15 medical care facilities enrolled in the study. The backgrounds and ocular findings of the patients were investigated, and their QOL was evaluated with the Japanese version of the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (VFQ-25) and of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 8-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-8) to examine the association between subjective symptoms and ocular surface findings.
Results: Of the patients enrolled, 15 were men and 143 were women, and their average age was 62.5 +/- 12.6 years. Sixty patients (38.0%) had comorbid Sjögren syndrome (SS). The results of Schirmer testing, fluorescein staining, and rose bengal staining for SS patients were significantly worse than those for the non-SS patients, but the VFQ-25 and SF-8 scores were not significantly different between the SS and non-SS patients. In the ocular surface findings, a weak association between the fluorescein staining scores and general vision scores, a subscale of the VFQ-25, was found. However, the ocular surface findings and VFQ-25/SF-8 results in the simple correlation analysis as well as in the multiple linear regression analysis showed no significant associations.
Conclusions: Ocular surface findings and QOL scores of patients with dry eye appear to disagree. Therefore, it is necessary to address subjective symptoms and QOL scores in addition to examination findings when evaluating dry eye.