To assess the association of severity of ocular discomfort with measures of quality of life among patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease (DED).
This is a prospective, observational, cohort study within a randomized clinical trial. Patients (N = 535) in the Dry Eye Assessment and Management study with moderate to severe DED completed the Ocular Surface Disease Index on DED symptoms, the SF-36 on quality of life, and the Brief Ocular Discomfort Inventory questionnaire and had a comprehensive ophthalmic assessment by a study-certified clinician. The ocular discomfort on average over the past week was scored on an 11-point scale (0 for no discomfort and 10 for discomfort as bad as you can imagine).
The average ocular discomfort scores for patients ranged from 0 to 10, with a mean of 4.28. Discomfort scores did not vary with demographic characteristics, signs of DED, self-reported depression, or self-reported nonocular pain conditions. Ocular discomfort scores did correlate moderately to strongly with total Ocular Surface Disease Index scores (Spearman correlation coefficient, rs, 0.47-0.67) and with measures of interference with activities of daily living [general activity level, mood, walking ability, ability for normal work, relations with other people, sleep, and enjoyment of life (rs = 0.39-0.65)].
Among patients in the Dry Eye Assessment and Management study, worse ocular discomfort was associated with worse overall DED symptoms and interfered to a greater degree with activities of daily living. Ocular discomfort is an important part of the assessment of patients with DED.