KARACHI             -       Approximately 35 to 60 percent of the country’s population whose average age is only 30 years is suffering from Dry Eye, according to Karachi Ocular Surface Disease Study conducted by Hashmanis Foundation and the Pakistan Research Initiative.

“Historically we have relied on the data compiled by West to diagnose our population which can lead to erroneous results. This is the first study of its kind in Pakistan and it has shown some alarming results. This data was recorded in pre-COVID 19 times and it will potentially be even worse today due to increased indoor time and digital usage,” the study reads.

“Firstly, there needs to be a basic understanding of dry eye disease. There is a layer in front of the eye known as the tear film. Usually, we only think of this layer when we cry as it overflows from the lower lid. However, subconsciously, we secrete this layer 24 hours a day, even while sleeping which helps in protecting the eye and lubricating the surface. Problems arise when this layer thins out and exposes the underlying cornea; this leads to a host of problems as described below,” it adds

The study further says that people suffering can complain of a host of problems. In its mildest variant, a simple eye strain will ensue when reading or using the computer. When progressing, it will present as visual blurring usually corrected by eye rest and blinking frequently. Then it leads to discomfort like consistent burning, itching and irritation. These findings need to be communicated to the population, especially in these troubled times, so we can preserve the vision and health of those afflicted.