Published in Ocular Surface

The 2023 Dry Eye Report

This is editorially independent content
4 min read
We surveyed 428 optometrists on dry eye diagnosis, treatment, and management. Get your free copy of the report and learn about the state of the field!
The 2023 Dry Eye Report
Dry eye disease (DED) affects an estimated 50 million people in the United States, with approximately 35 million that are undiagnosed.1-3 The prevalence increases each year due to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that practitioners suggest could include increasing digital device usage, age, diet, autoimmune and systemic disease, and environmental conditions.
In January 2023, Eyes On Eyecare surveyed 428 optometrists in the US and Canada who currently diagnose and manage dry eye to learn more about how the optometric community approaches this disease.
In this 3rd Annual Eyes On Eyecare Dry Eye Report, we present to you the results of this survey—and, as with all of our reports, the data is absolutely free to access!

Download the 2023 Dry Eye Report now, or keep reading for a sneak peek at the findings!

📚

The 2023 Dry Eye Report

Review shifting trends in the field and how optometrists successfully diagnose, treat, and manage dry eye.

The 2023 Dry Eye Report covers:

  • Confidence in diagnosis and treatment: How comfortable are optometrists with diagnosing and treating this condition?
  • Screening, diagnostics, and point-of-care systems: What are the most common diagnostic methods used by optometrists in 2023? How frequent are certain diagnoses? How many ODs are utilizing validated dry eye questionnaires?
  • Treatment and management of DED, eye dryness, and dry eye flares: How do ODs classify their approach to DED? What are their go-to treatments by dry eye type? What new approaches are ODs incorporating into their practices?
  • Practice management: How many ODs are expanding their dry eye offerings?
  • Advice from fellow practitioners: Throughout the report, keep an eye out for tips and advice from fellow optometrists on how to grow your practice, where to start, and how to discuss it with patients!
  • And more!

Optometrists are more confident with dry eye than last year

Confidence in diagnosing, treating, and managing dry eye has increased across the board by 2 to 3% from 2022, with 2023 averages at 8.09/10 for confidence in diagnosis and 7.7/10 for confidence in treatment.
Rate your confidence in diagnosing Dry Eye Disease.
Rate your confidence in treating Dry Eye Disease.
Want to see more? Download the free report!
This brings 2023 numbers back in line with those from the 2021 report, suggesting that the dip in confidence in 2022 was short-lived. Optometrists continue to educate themselves regarding old and new treatment options, as well as strengthen their ability to comfortably address their patients’ dry eye.

With enhanced proficiency comes new DED treatments

Optometrists are also diversifying their approaches: In 2023, respondents reported using a wider range of treatments than was found in last year’s survey data.
This included in-office treatments, like thermal heat systems, intense pulsed light, and radiofrequency for MGD, as well as conventional therapies, such as OTC topical treatments, prescription-based treatments (up almost 50% from last year!), and eyelid hygiene.
Want to see more? Download the free report!
This year, 68.7% of optometrists reported topical steroids as their go-to treatment for dry eye flares. The significant adoption of steroid use in treating acute exacerbations of dry eye is in the recognition that patient symptoms (i.e., visual fluctuations, redness, blink alterations) can ebb and flow, necessitating flare management.
It is evident from this data that optometrists are ready and willing to address the inflammatory response head-on to proactively mitigate dry eye flares, which could occur multiple times throughout the year.

More optometrists plan to grow their OSD line of service

Between 2022 and 2023, the number of ODs looking to expand the ocular surface disease (OSD) niche in their practice increased by 4.31% from 58% in 2022 to 60.5% in 2023.
Want to see more? Download the free report!
As optometrists continue to explore the many avenues of dry eye treatment, we hope this report will offer useful insights and support for doctors seeking to grow their practice!

Learn more about the state of dry eye by downloading the free report!

  1. Verjee MA, Brissette AR, Starr CE. Dry Eye Disease: Early Recognition with Guidance on Management and Treatment for Primary Care Family Physicians. Ophthalmol Ther. 2020;9(4):877-888.
  2. Dana R, Bradley JL, Guerin A, et al. Estimated Prevalence and Incidence of Dry Eye Disease Based on Coding Analysis of a Large, All-age United States Health Care System. Am J Ophthalmol. 2019;202:47-54.
  3. Behrens A, Doyle JJ, Stern L, et al. Dysfunctional tear syndrome: a Delphi approach to treatment recommendations. Cornea. 2006;25(8):900–7.
Matt Geller, OD
About Matt Geller, OD

Matt Geller, OD is the co-founder and CEO of CovalentCreative - an independently owned digital marketing agency that provides content, creative, and technology services for forward-thinking eyecare organizations. CovalentCreative is the parent company of EyesOnEyecare.com - a digital publication that focuses on providing clinical and career education to the up-and-coming generation of optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Matt Geller, OD
Ahmad Fahmy, OD, FAAO, Dipl. ABO
About Ahmad Fahmy, OD, FAAO, Dipl. ABO

Dr. Ahmad Fahmy is the Director of Optometric Services at Minnesota Eye Consultants. He received his professional training and the Doctor of Optometry degree in 2001 from the Illinois College of Optometry, and completed residency training in the perioperative care of glaucoma, anterior segment pathology, and refractive surgery with Minnesota Eye Consultants, P.A. in 2004. He earned Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry in 2004, and Diplomate designation in the American Board of Optometry in 2014. Dr. Fahmy is an Adjunct Faculty Assistant Professor of the Illinois College of Optometry, and Southern California College of Optometry.

Dr. Fahmy is a devoted advocate of an integrated eye care delivery model and serves as a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s Integrated Practice Committee (IPC), as well as an editorial board peer reviewer for the journal Clinical Ophthalmology. He has been involved in the clinical care of disadvantaged populations and is devoted to continued involvement in the development of philanthropic eye care initiatives. He also remains committed to teaching and mentoring. He is actively involved in numerous clinical research trials and has a special interest in the ocular surface disease.

Ahmad Fahmy, OD, FAAO, Dipl. ABO
Damon Dierker, OD, FAAO
About Damon Dierker, OD, FAAO

Dr. Dierker is Director of Optometric Services at Eye Surgeons of Indiana, an adjunct faculty member at the Indiana University School of Optometry, and Immediate Past President of the Indiana Optometric Association. Dr. Dierker is the Co-Founder and Program Chair of Eyes On Dry Eye, the largest event for eyecare professionals in the industry. He has made significant contributions to raising awareness of dry eye and ocular surface disease in the eyecare community, including the development of Dry Eye Boot Camp and other content resources across dozens of publications.

Damon Dierker, OD, FAAO
Eleanor Gold, PhD
About Eleanor Gold, PhD

Eleanor Gold is the Editor in Chief at Eyes On Eyecare. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University at Buffalo and is passionate about science communication and education, particularly in the field of eyecare.

Eleanor Gold, PhD
💙 Our Sponsors
Johnson & Johnson Vision LogoOptilight by Lumenis Logo