Table 3

Components of patients’ symptoms

Components of symptomsDefinition of outcomeDescriptive terms used by focus group participants
Uncomfortable or painful eyeA person complains of eye pain that may be severe and seem sharp, aching or throbbing, or a person may feel only mild irritation of the eye surface or the sensation of a foreign object in the eye (foreign body sensation).Feeling irritation; scraping sensation or sandpaper when closing eyes, or experience of sharp pain; stabbing pain, terrible pain.
Watery eyeA person experiences a watery or a runny eye (excess tears).Feeling your eyes streaming; like you have been crying.
RednessA person experiences a visible bloodshot or redness to the white part of the eye.Experience of having red eyes, a layer of blood go across the eye, and then as that goes down to my eyes it’s almost like it’s bloodshot.
PhotosensitivityA person experiences light intolerance or the eye is oversensitive to light (eg, in sunlight, fluorescent light, headlights, street lights).Feeling light sensitive as just can’t stand any light at all; sensitive eyes to sunlight, fluorescent light, headlights, yellow bright light in the street.
FloaterA person complains of seeing moving dark or grey spots, specks, strands or cobwebs.Seeing floating things; blob; seeing like a fly in front of vision; and black circles or dots going round. I had floaters and the only way to explain it is like a cling film over my eye that’s creased.
Visual disturbanceA person complains of seeing blurred, hazy, foggy, grainy vision, flashing/shimmering lights or double vision.Seeing fog in front of vision; hazy vision; flashing lights; shimmering lights; a drifting across my eyes; grainy vision; loads of steam. Seeing things but not defined, but it’s just like a milky haze.
Distortion of visionA person complains that straight lines may appear bent, crooked or wavy.Seeing things wavy rather than straight and lines appear bent.
HeadacheA person experiences a severe or throbbing headache.Feeling headache I can’t spend more than an hour on the computer, because it just gives me bad headache; it is like throbbing.
FatigueA person experiences fatigue, exhaustion, feeling tired or lack of energy.Feeling tired; very exhausted; I feel I am a sleepy person.