March 2012
Volume 53, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   March 2012
The Natural History Of Dry Eye Disease From The Patient's Perspective
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura M. Tarko
    Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Jim Z. Li
    Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc, San Diego, California
  • Darlene A. Dartt
    Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Debra A. Schaumberg
    Preventive Medicine, Harvard Med Sch/Brigham & Women's, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Laura M. Tarko, None; Jim Z. Li, Pfizer (E); Darlene A. Dartt, None; Debra A. Schaumberg, Pfizer, Inc (F)
  • Footnotes
    Support  Pfizer, Inc
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2012, Vol.53, 5442. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Laura M. Tarko, Jim Z. Li, Darlene A. Dartt, Debra A. Schaumberg; The Natural History Of Dry Eye Disease From The Patient's Perspective. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):5442.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: : Dry eye disease (DED) is a chronic disease that causes patients to suffer from symptoms of ocular dryness and irritation and a decreased quality of life. It remains unknown whether the condition is progressive, and there is little information available on the long term natural history of DED. This study aimed to assess the natural history of DED from the patient’s perspective by the percentage of patients who reported that their DED worsened since diagnosis, and to identify factors associated with worsening.

Methods: : We sent questionnaires to 800 participants in the Physicians’ Health Study (men) and Women’s Health Study (women) who previously reported a diagnosis of DED. Study participants were asked 20 questions to evaluate the degree to which various aspects (such as quality of vision, severity of symptoms, and frequency of symptoms) of their DED changed since DED diagnosis.

Results: : The questionnaire was returned by 398 men (mean age, 76.7 years), and 386 women (mean age, 70.8 years), with an average duration of DED of 10.3 and 14.5 years, respectively. Overall, 21.1% of men and 29.8% of women reported worsening of their DED since diagnosis. In multivariable models, females were 45% more likely to indicate worsening (P=0.09). Use of systemic beta-blockers (P=0.04), and past history of severe symptoms (P<0.0001) were associated with worsening, whereas older age, longer duration of DED, current use of glaucoma medications, and other factors were not.

Conclusions: : We conclude that most people with DED do not experience worsening over time. When it does occur (in about 20-30% of cases), worsening is more likely to be seen among women, people who take systemic beta-blockers, and among those who experience severe symptoms earlier in the course of their disease.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: natural history 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.