Impact of Dry Eye Symptoms and Daily Activities in a Modern Office

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Modern offices and the use of electronic devices are increasing factors in work-related eye symptoms. However, symptoms of eye fatigue or dry eye sensation can be mixed and confusing. This study surveys the eye symptoms reported during a working day at modern offices to investigate the possible inhibition on daily work activities.


Two online digital surveys were sent to three different work locations, by direct e-mail. Survey A consisted of 14 questions that investigated eye symptoms experienced during daily activities at work and the impact on daily activities. Survey B consisted of four general questions, the Dutch Ocular Surface Disease Index, the Work Productivity and Activity Index, and the Illness Perception Questionnaire.


A total of 505 participants completed survey A, and 213 completed survey B. The participants reported that a high proportion of their day was spent working on a computer (60%). The majority experienced an air draft (79.1%) and had no adjustable light (81.5%) at their workspace. Dry eye–related symptoms were reported at a significantly higher frequency at work than at home (P < .001). Up to 70% experienced some inhibition of daily activity at work due to eye symptoms, with more than 5% experiencing symptoms most or all of the time. Indoor environment, work environment, and general health were perceived as the main reasons for developing dry eye. Compared with males, females showed a statistically significant higher Ocular Surface Disease Index score (P < .001) and experienced more inhibition and adverse effects on daily life and work productivity.


This investigation shows that dry eye symptoms have a negative impact on daily activities at work. These findings suggest that multidisciplinary understanding of the negative impact of dry eye by a range of specialists will be of help in managing work-related dry eye.

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