Dry eye clinical practice patterns of UK optometrists

Rachel K Casemore, James S Wolffsohn, Debarun Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: In light of the increased roles of optometrists working in primary care in the UK, this research study aimed to gain an insight into perceptions of dry eye disease (DED), knowledge and confidence in diagnosis and management, and satisfaction with currently available treatment options.

METHODS: Links to an online survey were distributed to optometrists across the UK via optometry websites newsletters, conferences, and local optical committee data bases, between October 2021 and July 2022. The anonymous questionnaire contained a variety of question types including multiple choice, likert-type scale, and free text questions.

RESULTS: The survey was completed by 131 optometrists, with a broad range of experience, who reported examining 33.3 ± 31.0 dry eye patients per month. Forty-eight percent of respondents were involved in the provision of an extended service. Fluorescein tear breakup time, corneal fluorescein staining, and anterior lid assessment were the most used clinical procedures, both for diagnosis and monitoring purposes. Sixty percent of respondents reported that they believed their patients were satisfied/managed with artificial tear alone, with the availability of a preservative free option being the top consideration, particularly with increasing severity. Of the 18.7% of respondents who held Independent prescriber status, 68% felt this had widened their ability to diagnose and treat DED. This was evidenced by an increase in steroid recommendation for moderate and severe disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Although dry eye disease was perceived to be an important condition, opinions varied widely regarding knowledge and confidence in diagnosis and management. Involvement in an extended service did not alter patient management. However, an increase in therapeutic management and the employment of a stepwise approach to management has been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101889
Number of pages11
JournalContact lens & anterior eye : the journal of the British Contact Lens Association
Issue number5
Early online date15 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of British Contact Lens Association. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • Clinical practice
  • Dry eye
  • Management
  • Tear film
  • United Kingdom
  • Humans
  • Dry Eye Syndromes/diagnosis
  • Fluorescein
  • Optometrists
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'


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