Impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a United States veterans affairs population

Bozorgmehr Pouyeh, Eduardo Viteri, William Feuer, David J. Lee, Hermes Florez, James A. Fabian, Victor L. Perez, Anat Galor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a veteran population receiving eye care services. Design: Cross-sectional survey study. Methods: setting: Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). patient population: Patients seen at the eye clinic between June and August 2010 were asked to fill out the Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ5) and the Impact of Dry Eye on Everyday Life (IDEEL) questionnaire. main outcome measures: Correlation between ocular surface symptoms and functionality. Results: Four hundred eighty-nine patients elected to fill out the DEQ5 questionnaire (36% response rate). The mean age of respondents was 66 years (standard deviation 12). Ninety-four percent were male; 62% were white and 37% were black. Using the DEQ5 as a surrogate measure of ocular surface symptoms, 65% of respondents reported at least mild ocular surface symptoms (DEQ5 <6) and 27% of them reported severe symptoms (DEQ5 <12). Black subjects had a 2-fold increased risk of severe symptoms compared to white subjects (odds ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.33-3.19). Several medications were associated with a significantly increased risk of severe symptoms, including glaucoma medications (1.7-fold increase), antidepressants (2.3-fold increase), and antihistamines (2.1-fold increase). There was an inverse correlation between DEQ5 and IDEEL scores with regard to ability to perform activities of daily living (n = 391, r = -0.54, P <.001), emotional well-being (n = 386, r = -0.63, P <.001), and the ability to work (n = 205, r = -0.57, P <.001). Fifty percent of patients with severe symptoms had documentation that their symptoms were addressed during the visit. Conclusion: Severe ocular surface symptoms reduce the quality of life of Miami VAMC veterans. Eye care professionals should be vigilant in eliciting ocular surface complaints from their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1066.e3
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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