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New Allergan survey shows 48% have dry eye symptoms

November 6, 2011

Dry eye has long been recognized as a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. However, the recently released Allergan Dry Eye Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, suggests the condition may be even more prevalent than previously believed.

The survey finds that men, as well as women, frequently experience dry eye and that the condition frequently results in problems such as difficulty with reading.

It also finds that while many dry eye sufferers use over-the-counter remedies to self-treat the condition, most are unhappy with the results.

The survey suggests eye care professionals may need to play a more proactive role in diagnosing and treating the condition, according to Allergan. 

The survey finds:

  • Nearly half of all U.S. adults (48 percent) experience one or more dry eye symptom(s) regularly
  • Half of all women (52 percent) experience one or more dry eye symptom(s) regularly
  • Two in five women age 45 to 54 who suffer from dry eye symptoms (42 percent) experience blurred vision
  • 30 percent of men 55 and older have experienced dry eye symptoms for more than 10 years
  • 19 percent of women age 55 and older have experienced dry eye symptoms for more than 10 years
  • Women are more likely than men to report experiencing difficulty using the computer as a result of their dry eye symptoms (62 percent vs. 44 percent)
  • Approximately two out of five U.S. adults (43 percent) report experiencing difficulty reading as a result of their dry eye symptoms
  • Nearly one out of five U.S. adults (19 percent) report using over-the-counter (OTC) eyedrops to treat symptoms at least five times per week
  • Nearly half of U.S. adults (48 percent) who use OTC eyedrops to manage their dry eye symptoms state that their eye care professional or pharmacist influenced their decision to use OTC drops
  • A majority of U.S. adults who use OTC eyedrops to manage their dry eye symptoms (63 percent) state that the OTC drops are only somewhat or not at all successful in managing their dry eye symptoms
  • Women who use OTC eyedrops to manage their dry eye symptoms are more likely than men to state their OTC drops are only somewhat or not at all successful in managing their dry eye symptoms (68 percent vs. 54 percent)
  • 69 percent of U.S. adults who experience one or more dry eye symptom(s) have not visited a eye care professional to treat symptoms
  • Approximately two out of five U.S. adults (41 percent) who visited an eye care professional to treat their dry eye symptoms stated that they visited more than once before finding relief (19 percent); or that they still have not found relief (22 percent)

This survey was conducted online in the United States March 4-8, 2011, among 2,411 adults (age 18 and older) by Harris Interactive on behalf of Allergan, Inc., via its Quick Queryomnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

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