Survey on the Ophthalmologists’ Opinion on the Use of Immunosuppressant Drugs for Dry Eye Disease

  • Mohi Iqbal Abdul
  • Ahmed Sebeih
  • Fahad Qassas
  • Maan AlBarry
  • Hossein Elbadawy


Aim: This study was conducted to assess the perceptions of ophthalmologists regarding the management of DED with a focus on the possible role of immunosuppressant agents such as cyclosporine. Materials and methods: A survey was prepared based on standard questions and opinions were collected from 35 ophthalmologists in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Results: The majority of opinions have chosen to use artificial tears as a first line therapy. However, 20% of opinions showed that no prescription is required for mild DED. A large percentage of participants in this survey thought that artificial tears were not useful for more than 80% of their patients. This raised the importance for introducing new agents such as immunosuppressant drugs. However, there was no agreement between eye specialists on the usefulness of cyclosporine in the treatment of DED. The opinions were mostly split (42.4% versus 39.4%) and there was no agreement on the benefits of using immunosuppressant drugs. Conclusions: The results showed the need for new agents like cyclosporine to manage advanced and severe cases of DED. It is, therefore, recommended that the use of immunosuppressant drugs should be considered for severe DED. This study has also shown the importance of considering the cause and the stage of the disease carefully before prescribing artificial tears for DED. In conclusion, although the benefits of immunosuppressant drugs are well documented for severe DED, the use of it is still limited especially in local practice in Saudi Arabia.