Results of a population-based questionnaire on the symptoms and lifestyles associated with dry eye

Shigeto Shimmura, Jun Shimazaki, Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. This study was designed to assess public awareness and symptoms of dry eye in Japan by a population-based, self-diagnosis study. Methods. Two thousand five hundred participants chosen randomly from the general population were sent a questionnaire consisting of 30 questions pertaining to symptoms and knowledge of dry eye. Results. Awareness of the condition called 'dry eye' was very high at 73%. Most of the knowledge of dry eye was obtained through the media (e.g., television, 58.8%; newspapers/magazines, 46.6%), and only a fraction of the knowledge was from physicians (6.8%). As many as 33% of participants responded that they believed they had dry eye according to the self-diagnosis criteria, of which 25% used over-the-counter eyedrops daily. The majority of eyedrop users were dissatisfied with their therapeutic effects, and only 11% sought professional help. Habits in lifestyles that were associated with self-diagnosed dry eye were contact lens use (p < 0.001), a history of allergic conjunctivitis (p = 0.002), and video display terminal tasks (p = 0.058). Conclusion. Although public awareness of dry eye in Japan was high, only a minority of the population seems to consult professionals for diagnosis and symptomatic relief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-411
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial tears
  • Dry eye
  • Ocular fatigue
  • Public education
  • Video display terminal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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