Survey reveals lack of dry eye awareness


A new survey by eyecare experts, Théa, has revealed that over a third of British people are unaware of dry eye disease, a debilitating and painful eye condition affecting one in four people in the UK.

The No EyeDea survey carried out by YouGov found that 36% didn't know what dry eye symptoms were. Yet, many of the over 2,000 participants had experienced symptoms.

Dr Matthew Olsen, Head of UK Marketing for Théa Pharmaceuticals, said: "Dry eye disease can be a painful condition that can have a huge impact on quality of life. Théa remains committed to raising awareness of dry eye disease, so people feel confident enough to seek a diagnosis and find the right solutions to manage their condition."

Symptoms of dry eye disease include eyes that are itchy, sore, gritty, red, blurry, sensitive to light and more watery than usual. You are more likely to suffer from the condition if you:

  • are over the age of 50
  • wear contact lenses
  • look at computer screens for a long time without a break
  • spend time in air-conditioned or heated environments
  • smoke or drink alcohol
  • take certain medications

The survey also revealed the impact that the disease had on individuals. 24% of participants stated it impacted their ability to wear contact lenses, 18% said that their sleep was affected, and 14% felt the impact on their overall mood.

Dry eye disease should not be ignored. If left untreated, more severe cases can lead to conjunctivitis, ulceration and vision loss.

The survey interestingly also revealed very low awareness of general eye health. Nearly half of people answering the survey thought you should get your eyes tested every three years. However, the NHS recommends every two years or even less if you are older or experiencing problems with your eyes.