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Bausch + Lomb reports national dry eye data, launches awareness tool

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5 min read

Bausch + Lomb Corporation released data from its inaugural State of the Dry Eye survey regarding U.S.-based adult dry eye patients’ knowledge and experience with the disease.

And as a bonus, the company is introducing a new digital resource targeting dry eye awareness and education.

Let’s start broadly.

A common ocular surface disease (OSD), dry eye disease (DED) impacts an estimated 344 million people across the globe—with roughly 16 to 20 million in the United States (5 to 7% of the national population).

  • Key demographic impacted: Most often adults aged 50+, particularly those wearing contact lenses and who are female

Now this survey.

Conducted online by The Harris Poll (on behalf of B+L) between April 15-23, 2024, the survey was sent to 2,003 U.S. adults aged 18+. Among them were:

  • 461 patients dubbed as “sufferers”
    • Those who often/always experience eye dryness or/and were clinically diagnosed with DED
  • 1,542 non-sufferers

How was data weighted?

In order to be more in line with the national population’s actual proportions, all data was weighted (where necessary, according to B+L) by

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Region
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Household size
  • Employment
  • Household income
  • Political party affiliation

Also: Respondent selection was based on those who agreed to participate in the survey; sampling precision was measured using a Bayesian credible interval, with sample data accurate to within ±  3.0 using a 95% confidence level.

Now these results.

In all, 75% of respondents (dry eye sufferers, to be exact) reported the disease to be “extremely or very bothersome” in impacting their daily quality of life (QoL).

Even further: 81% noted being constantly aware of how their eyes feel and nearly 50% reported sometimes being able to “hear themselves blink.”

Exactly how impactful did they report DED to be on QoL?

So much so that over two-thirds (67%) indicated they “had to give up or cut back on something to relieve symptoms.” These included:

  • Screentime (32%)
  • Outdoor time (25%)
  • Wearing makeup (24%)

Which activities were affected the most by DED?

Three major activities:

  • Reading (45%)
  • Device use (35%)
  • Driving (31%)

Okay … so what about DED awareness?

Based on their responses, 70% of respondents indicated they don’t know much about preventing or treating dry eye and 66% reported not knowing that dry eye symptoms are becoming increasingly prevalent among younger patients.

In fact, respondents reported regularly experiencing the following dry eye-related symptoms:

  • Tired eyes (38%)
  • Light sensitivity (27%)
  • Redness (19%)

However …

Only 15% indicated experiencing eye dryness, which, B+L stated, suggests “people may not recognize their symptoms could be associated with dry eye.”

  • Even more startling: Among dry eye sufferers, 52% suggested they believe that dry eyes are not only difficult to treat, but also a disease that people must learn to live with.
    • Plus: 44% didn’t realize that, if left untreated, dry eye could lead to other vision problems—including vision loss.

Expert input on this?

According to Dry Eye Foundation Co-Founder and President Rebecca Petris, early dry eye symptoms are often misunderstood, downplayed, ignored or self-treated.

“People need to know their symptoms warrant a visit to the eye doctor, so they can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment,” she stated.

Now, dare I ask if any reported seeing an eye doctor regularly?

You can, but you might not like the answer: 43% (in other words: two in five Americans) reported they do not routinely (as in at least once a year) visit an eye care professional (ECP).

Yike. So what is B+L doing to change this lack of awareness?

Great question! The company is actually launching a new dry eye awareness campaign with the introduction of, a digital resource geared toward providing the following information for patients:

Nice! Speaking of dry eye relief… any new B+L products to be aware of?

Definitely! Just last month, the company launched its latest offering: Blink NutriTears, a novel, daily nutritional supplement part of the robust Blink line of dry eye products:

Plus, the company’s dry eye portfolio also includes:

  • MIEBO (perfluorohexyloctane ophthalmic solution)
    • First and only DED treatment directly targeting tear evaporation
  • XIIDRA (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5%
    • Targets inflammation

*Featured image courtesy and property of Bausch + Lomb

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