Currently, the available treatment for dry eye disease (DED) varies. The present study aimed to investigate the characteristics of undiagnosed DED and patient-based self-care management for DED based on a web-based survey performed for Tear's Day in Japan; 1030 participants (301 women) responded; 155 participants (72 women) had a clinical diagnosis of DED. We defined undiagnosed DED (n = 116; 54 women) as those with DED symptoms, as evaluated by a frequently used questionnaire despite not having a clinical diagnosis. A multivariate adjusted model indicated that younger age (odds ratio (OR), 0.97 for each one-year decrease; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.95-0.99), female sex (OR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.28-3.50), and prolonged visual display terminal usage (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.21) were risk factors for undiagnosed DED. To investigate the efficacy of self-care management for DED, a sub-analysis was conducted. The number of self-care methods used was significantly higher among women than men. For undiagnosed DED, those with less than three self-care methods had a significantly worse Dry Eye-related Quality-of-Life Score compared with those with diagnosed DED. This study revealed risk factors for undiagnosed DED; individuals with those risk factors need to be clinically assessed and should not rely solely on self-care.
Keywords: dry eye disease; risk factor; self-care; undiagnosed dry eye disease.