The authors of this dry eye study wanted to investigate independent risk factors of dry eye syndrome (DES) in a Chinese population. This was case-controlled, hospital-based age- and sex-matched population with 789 chronic dry eye patients and 1119 healthy family members – Genetically matched.  .

Dry eye syndrome patients were determined by Ocular Surface Disease questionnaire and both groups received.

  1. Slit-lamp evaluation,
  2. Tear film breakup time- to measure tear viscosity
  3. Schirmer test – to measure tear volume.
  4. Corneal fluorescein staining for dry spots – Rose Bangal. .

Extensive personal and medical histories were collected and 20 risk factors were found to be associated with Dry Eye Syndrome. They are:

  1. history of hypertension
  2. diabetes
  3. hepatitis C
  4. obstructive sleep apnea
  5. thyroid disease
  6. connective tissue disease
  7. gout
  8. benign prostatic hyperplasia – enlarged prostate.
  9. rosacea – red cheeks and nose
  10. stress disorder
  11. depression
  12. post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  13. hematopoietic stem cell transplantation – bone marrow transplantation for lymphoma
  14. history of receiving head and neck radiation therapy,
  15. postmenopausal estrogen therapy
  16. antihistamines
  17. anti-depressants
  18. anxiolytics,-  anti-anxiety medications
  19.  drugs for prostatic hypertrophy
  20. Computers, cell phone displays  use of a video display terminal for more than 6 hours per day, and corneal contact lenses.

The use of vitamin supplements and regular consumption of food rich in omega -3 fatty acids were found to be protective against DES. While the impact of stress, depression, contact lens wear, and hormone status (Menopause) are significant,

This large population based study of a Chinese population identified multiple risk factors for DES and may provide important avenues for identifying patients, education and potential intervention, and is consistent with previous reports.

Preprinted with permission from the Theralife Blog

Original Article