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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Ophthalmology 1/2018

Coping with dry eyes: a qualitative approach

BMC Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Sharon Yeo, Louis Tong
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12886-018-0671-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Dry eye is a common problem that affects many people worldwide, reducing quality of life and impacting daily activities. A qualitative approach often used in medicine and other disciplines is used to evaluate how people with dry eye cope with this impact.


Six focus group sessions were conducted at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), premises of an eye research institute. These focus groups consist of a spectrum of dry eye sufferers (30 women, 8 men, aged 61 ± 11.8 years). Standard methods of coding followed by determination of themes were adhered to. Where classification was difficult, consensus was made between 3 assessors.


Audio-recorded transcripts were coded in 10 themes by 3 assessors independently. Four of the themes involved traditional measures such as lid warming, cleansing, lubrication and oral dietary supplements. The other themes discovered were Traditional Chinese Medicine, modification of eye-care habits (e.g. wearing sunglasses), environmental humidity, lifestyle (e.g. sleeping habits), psychological attitude, and lastly sharing and communication.


Holistic coping strategies were found to be prominent in dry eye sufferers from these focus groups, and people tend to find personalised ways of coping with the impact of dry eye on daily living.
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