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Dry Eye

Visual symptoms are complementary tool to pinpoint dry eye from other ocular issues

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Findings from a cross-sectional study concluded that while visual symptoms may serve as a complementary tool to differentiate dry eye from various ocular conditions such as dry eye, glaucoma, cataract, the symptoms that best distinguish dry eye differ across comparisons. According to the researchers, determining how patients visually perceive common eye diseases may be used in a variety of clinical settings to rule out specific conditions.

Patient-reported symptoms, frequently used in in-person examinations and telemedicine, can support the diagnosis of dry eye and other common ophthalmological conditions. For the study, participants with dry eye, glaucoma, cataracts, and suspected glaucoma (controls) completed a questionnaire to rate the frequency and severity of 28 visual symptoms. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression determined the symptoms and set of symptoms best distinguishing dry eye from each of the other conditions. The mean age of 353 patients (94 glaucoma suspect controls, 79 glaucoma, 84 cataract, and 96 dry eye) was 64.1 years, with 67% female and 68% White.

Dry eye patients reported more frequent light sensitivity and spots in vision compared to glaucoma suspect controls. Compared to glaucoma patients, dry eye patients experienced more frequent light sensitivity, but less frequent poor peripheral vision, difference in vision between eyes, and missing patches of vision. Compared to cataract patients, dry eye patients reported more frequent spots in vision and vision variability across the week and were less likely to report worsening vision and blindness.

Reference
Zhao DX, Quintero M, Mihailovic A, et al. Utilizing visual symptoms to distinguish dry eye from glaucoma, cataract, and suspect glaucoma patients: a cross-sectional study. BMC Ophthalmol. 2024;24(1):16. doi:10.1186/s12886-023-03219-2

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