Dry eye disease comparable to other severe chronic disorders
Dry eye disease (DED) is linked to substantially impaired work functioning and its impact is comparable to that of other severe chronic disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and depression, according to a presentation at ARVO 2022.
“This highlights the importance of recognizing DED as a severe disorder and providing a diagnosis,” the study authors noted.
To assess the relationship between DED and work functioning, unemployment, absenteeism, and worry about job loss, researchers analyzed data from 89,215 participants in the Dutch population-based Lifelines cohort. DED was classified as a clinical diagnosis of dry eye or both dryness and irritation symptoms often or constantly present. Work functioning was assessed in 36,399 working participants.
DED was noted in 9.1% of participants with 8.5% having a previous clinical diagnosis and 1.9% had highly symptomatic dry eye.
Overall, 49.4% of patients with DED had impaired overall work functioning compared to 41.1% of those without DED (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.14-1.35, P = 0.002, corrected for age, sex, body mass index, income, education, smoking, and 48 comorbidities associated with dry eye).
There was only a slight increase in absenteeism in the participants with DED (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01-1.20, P= 0.04). There was a similar risk of impaired work functioning in participants with DED as with rheumatoid arthritis and COPD, and patients with highly symptomatic dry eye had impaired work functioning at the same level as of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and depression.
Vehof J, et al. The work-related burden of dry eye disease. Presented at: ARVO 2022.