How common is dry eye?

A new study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology found the annual dry eye disease prevalence rate tripled from 2005 to 2012.

The study details.
The study used military claims data of over 9 million service members, retirees, and dependents, ages 2-80+ years.

What did they find?
Dry eye disease (DED) prevalence was higher in women and higher with increasing age. They estimate from this study that the overall prevalence of DED in the US is around 16 million people.

Why did the prevalence triple?
The authors didn’t aim to answer that question but did say that “one likely contributing factor is an increase in education and awareness of DED over time as a treatable condition.”