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M. Schwartz, G. D’Aversa, M. Bloomenstein, J. Walt, S. Satram-Hoang; Ocular Co-Morbidity Burden of the Dry Eye Patient. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5321.
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Dry eye disease is a common disorder, characterized by inflammation of the ocular surface and lacrimal glands and is associated with symptoms of ocular discomfort and visual impairment. Dry eye is often accompanied by other ocular and systemic disease suggesting that health plans and practitioners who place an emphasis on detection and treatment will benefit from improved clinical and financial outcomes.
To evaluate the ocular co-morbidity burden of the dry eye patient, we analyzed data from a prospective, observational, internet-based patient registry containing 773 dry eye patients. Patients are seen at a frequency considered appropriate by their treating physician and no schedule of visits is imposed throughout the 3-year follow-up study period. Demographic factors (age, race, gender), concomitant ocular disease, and healthcare resource consumption data were collected.
Of the 773 patients enrolled, 80% were female, and the mean age in years was 61. The mean duration of dry eye disease was 5 years with an average of 1.5 physicians seen for dry eye disease treatment at the time of enrollment. Nineteen percent of patients were found to visit their physician 5 or more times per year. In this cohort, 64.5% of patients seeing a doctor had a primary complaint of dry eye disease. Over half of the cohort had concomitant ocular disease and of these patients, 29% were diagnosed with cataracts, 7% with glaucoma, and 8% with Blepharitis. In addition, 13.7% of the patients had undergone prior LASIK surgery.
A majority of dry eye patients has multiple co-morbid ocular conditions and ultimately consume other healthcare resources.
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