New research shows 77% of Australians experience dry eye symptoms but many have no clear understanding of the signs, symptoms or causes.
To help raise awareness about the prevalence of undiagnosed dry eye, results of Alcon’s new consumer study suggest that despite the high incidence of dry eye discomfort, only 11% of people would see an optometrist and only 3% would speak to a pharmacist for advice. The most commonly reported symptoms included tired (62%), blurry (39%) and dry (35%) eyes, yet when asked about why they experience discomfort, only 25% stated dry eye as a cause, the report said. The nationally representative online survey was conducted in March 2022 and included 1,000 consumers aged 18-plus.
In a typical day, nearly one third (32%) of Australians spend more than seven hours in front of a screen. For younger Australians (aged 18-34) screen is even higher, with a mean of eight hours per day. Australians seek relief by taking a break from their screens, sleeping or rubbing their eyes. Of those suffering from dry eye symptoms, one in five (21%) said they were not seeking help.
“Dry eye is a clear issue for Australians, given the demands we put on our eyes,” said Rich Oliver, country franchise head, Vision Care, Alcon Australia and New Zealand. “There is still a lot of education and awareness needed to help find Australians relief, but with this study, we are aiming to raise awareness of the symptoms and causes of dry eye to help them feel more confident when speaking with their GP, optometrist or pharmacist.”