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M. R. Schindelar, E. Prifogle, G. W. Ousler, III, C. Maffei, M. B. Abelson; Diurnal Variations in Symptoms of Dry Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5319.
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We have shown that diurnal variations exist in the signs and symptoms of dry eye. It has also been observed that patients report their worst symptoms at different times of the day. This study examines the frequency of symptoms and the effect on daily activities during the morning compared to the evening in patients diagnosed with dry eye.
Eighty-nine (89) mild to moderate dry eye patients were surveyed. Demographic information was collected and patients were asked to assess whether they experienced greatest symptomatology in the evening or morning, and to comment on the type of symptoms that they suffered. Patients were also queried as to the impact of their symptoms on specific daily activities (e.g. reading, driving, watching tv).
Fifty-seven dry eye patients (64%) reported that their worst symptoms occurred in the evening compared to 32 dry eye patients (36%) who reported that their worst symptoms occurred in the morning. While no difference was observed in the ocular dryness reported by each group, the groups displayed distinctions in several symptoms and daily activity limitations (ie reading/watching tv and driving in the evening group; photophobia and grittiness in the morning group).The type of symptoms and daily activities that worsened for each group are listed in table below.*Significance based on a P-value < 0.05
The differences observed in the symptomatology profiles suggest a distinction in the underlying pathophysiology of each group. Visual tasks such as reading, watching TV, or driving throughout the day appear to exacerbate symptoms of dry eye, demonstrating significant impact on the quality of life. The results warrant further investigation of the pathophysiological differences between these two distinct dry eye patient populations.
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