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The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI)



What is OSDI?

It is a well-known dry eye questionnaire. Ever wondered whether the long hours in front of the computer is causing you any harm? Or if the gritty feeling is due to allergy or dry eyes? Seek no further – the OSDI will help.

The questionnaire was created by the Outcomes Research Group at Allergan Inc, in order to quickly assess a wide range of symptoms of eye irritation in dry eye disease (DED), including symptoms related to chronic dry eye, their severity, and their impact on the patient’s ability
to function.

How reliable is this test?

In various clinical studies, the OSDI demonstrated excellent validity, effectively discriminating between normal, mild to moderate, and severe dry eye disease. Moreover, it can distinguish between normal subjects and patients with DED. The OSDI also possesses the necessary psychometric properties to be used in
clinical trials.

How does it work?

The OSDI is a 12-item questionnaire consisting of 3 parts.
• Part one: eye symptoms
• Part two: vision related problems. 
• Part three: environmental triggers.

The patient should answer the questions related to his symptoms in the past week. Patients rate their responses on a 0 to 4 scale with 0 corresponding to “none of the time” and 4 corresponding to “all of the time.”

A final score is calculated, which ranges from 0 to 100 with:
• Scores 0 to 12 representing normal,
• Scores 13 to 22 representing mild dry eye disease,
• Scores 23 to 32 representing moderate dry eye disease,
• Scores greater than 33 representing severe dry
eye disease

If you fall in the moderate to the severe category, you should consider visiting your Eye Care Practitioner.

Why should I consider taking the quiz?

The quiz will help diagnose and classify you as a mild or even severe dry eye patient. For a severely symptomatic patient, we are more apt to initiate aggressive treatment. Likewise, for a patient with less symptoms, we might be more conservative in our treatment algorithm.

It is also an excellent tool for uncovering dry eye among patients who are ‘silent sufferers’ and don’t realise they have a problem that can be effectively or more effectively managed.

I use the OSDI for documentation and especially for progress evaluations. Questionnaires provide a standardised way of assessing how well the patient is doing and if they are responding to treatment.

Very often, dry eye patients feel as if they are relegated to an afterthought by their doctors. The patients recognise that their activities of daily living have been inhibited, if not devastated, by ocular surface disease, and they appreciate the attention to their plight.

Visit the Optive Website (, and complete your OSDI questionnaire. The quiz is intended to highlight a possible dry eye. Kindly discuss your symptoms with your healthcare professional, who will be able to confirm a diagnosis.