Background: Dry eye syndrome (DES), also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), affects the tear film either by decreasing the production of tears or by increasing the evaporation of tears. Also, the syndrome is multifactorial, where patients usually complain of a variety of symptoms, including dry eyes, burning sensation, pain, and photophobia. The present study aimed at measuring the awareness and knowledge regarding DES among the population of Saudi Arabia via a questionnaire.
Methodology: Healthy Saudi adults (male and female) would answer an online questionnaire delivered by social media to measure the awareness of KCS among patients aged from 18 to 55 years, where healthcare providers were not allowed to participate in the study.
Results: In this study, we received 451 responses to our questionnaire. Almost half of the participants were aged between 18 and 25 years, while 28.6% were aged between 36 and 55 years. Females represented a slightly higher percentage of the sample (57.9%). Asthma was the most commonly reported chronic condition with a prevalence of 9.1%, while hypertension prevalence was 6.2%. Moreover, most of the participants indicated that they had not had any ocular surgery (82%), while 11.8% indicated that they had refractive surgery and 5.1% had other surgery.
Conclusion: We had observed a poor attitude toward DES among the Saudi Arabian population, including that most of the participants did not have a routine ophthalmologist visit and tended to use electronic devices for a long time without a break knowing about their risk
Key words: Dry eye, DES, complication, knowledge, treatment, causes.