Importance: Dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction are largely modern diseases, having recently increased in incidence, and it is an important public health problem. Although, proper eyelid care will ensure the health of the ocular surface, its habit in general population has not previously been reported.
Observation: In this brief report, we sought to determine the extent to which the general Japanese population had adopted eyelid hygiene habits. We conducted an Internet survey designed to investigate the awareness of eyelid hygiene in Japan and we received 1055 responses. This web-based survey was administered in 2014.
Conclusion and relevance: The percentage of respondents who reported consciously cleaning their eyelids daily (23%) was low. In particular, the disease “Meibomian gland dysfunction”, which is a major cause of dry eye, is hardly recognized (2%) amongst the general population. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents reported having some ocular symptoms. Public education efforts should attempt to raise awareness of lid hygiene, as it is the mainstay of treatment for ocular surface diseases and may be sufficient for their control. Eliminating poor hygiene habits can result in a healthy ocular surface.
Motoko Kawashima, Kazuo Tsubota