Optometrists need to incorporate their understanding of the impact of dry eye disease in their patient management

Authors Zoë Mathan, Mirjam van Tilborg
Published in Optometry and Vision Science
Publication date 2024
Research groups Technology for Healthcare Innovations
Type Article


SIGNIFICANCE: The impact of dry eye disease on patients' daily lives is understood by optometrists, but they seldom use this understanding in their patient management. PURPOSE: Dry eye disease can significantly impact a person's daily life and is known to cause psychological symptoms. Treating and managing patients with dry eye disease can be challenging, as an approach based solely on signs is unlikely to reflect patients' true burden. Because optometrists play a crucial role in the care of dry eye disease patients, it is necessary to examine their awareness of the negative impact of dry eye disease on patients' daily lives and how they manage this during their consultation time, including diagnosis and management. METHODS: This study has an exploratory, qualitative research design. Twelve semistructured online interviews were conducted with optometrists in second-line eye care through a convenience sample. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed after a thematic analysis. RESULTS: The main findings were that few optometrists actively asked about patients' perceived burden, many optometrists did not mention all the possible treatment options or practical advice that could benefit dry eye disease patients, and few were aware of the possible help that other health care providers could provide, besides the optometrist. CONCLUSIONS: Dutch optometrists are aware of the impact that dry eye disease can have on their patients' daily lives, but seldom use this information as part of their management plan.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Optometry and Vision Science
Year and volume 10 1
Key words dry eyes, patient management, optometrists, treatment
Digital Object Identifier 10.1097/OPX.0000000000002077
Page range 55-61

Technology for Healthcare Innovations