The prevalence and clinical profile of dry eye in tertiary hospital based normal healthy population in Uttarakhand, India

Pooja Baisoya, Anuradha Raj, Harsh Bahadur, R. C. Nagpal


Background: Dry eye  is  a  multifactorial  disorder  of the  tear  film  due  to  lack of tears or its excessive  evaporation  which  can potentially  damage  the  ocular surface  and  is  associated  with symptoms of ocular discomfort  as defined by  the  National  Eye Institute (NEI)  Industry  workshop  in  1995. Objective of the study was to study the prevalence and the clinical profile of dry eye in hospital-based normal healthy population.

Methods: In this observational study, 503 patients were screened for dry eye on the basis of questionnaire adopted from Dry Eye Workshop questionnaire which included five symptoms. On the basis of two or more than two symptoms, patients were divided into two groups Group I and Group II respectively. All patients underwent routine ophthalmological examination along with evaluation of tear parameters like Schirmer's test I, tear film break-up time, slit lamp assisted tear meniscus height measurement, Rose Bengal staining and tear film thinning time. On the basis of questionnaire and tear parameters, 235 patients were found eligible for the study. Final grading of dry eye into four grades was done according to Dry Eye Workshop. Severity of dry eye was divided into three grades as mild, moderate and severe with total score of <3, 3-4, >4 respectively. The data was analysed by using Pearson’s correlation of coefficient and multiple comparison tests with SPSS 22 version. P value<0.05 was taken statistically significant.

Results: The prevalence of dry eye in our study was found to be 46.71%. Mean age of the patients was 47.80±16.37 years. Mild, moderate and severe dry eye was seen in 136 (57.87%), 92 (39.14%) and 3 (1.27%) patients respectively. Mean standard value of Schirmer’s test I , tear film break-up time, tear meniscus height and tear film thinning time were 13.59±6.65, 9.66±2.45, 0.39±0.15 and 10.15±2.24 respectively. The P values of all tear parameters were 0.001 which were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Dry eye disease prevales to greater extent even in asymptomatic healthy patients and its reliable diagnosis can be done on the basis of both symptoms and tear parameters. Screening of symptomatic patients without any sign of dry eye in the preclinical phase is important for its early detection.


Dry eye, Tear film break-up time, Schirmer′s test I, Dry eye questionnaire

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