Estimating the prevalence of dry eye among patients attending a tertiary ophthalmology clinic in Eastern India
Keywords:Dry eye, Eastern India, objective dry eye tests, prevalence, symptoms
Background: Dry eye disease is a common multifactorial problem with increasing worldwide prevalence. Keeping all these facts in mind, the present study was undertaken to assess the magnitude of the problem reigning in this region. The present study was done to determine the prevalence, clinical features, and diagnostic test of dry eye disease in symptomatic patients attending the outpatient Department (OPD) of Ophthalmology, Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College and L.S.K. Hospital, Kishanganj, Bihar.
Materials and Methods: An effort was made to formulate a better approach for diagnosis and management of dry eye. In this hospital-based study, patients of aged >20 years and both sexes presenting with symptoms related to dry eye were subjected to a detailed history taking and a thorough ocular examination under a slit lamp biomicroscope. Then, a series of objective dry eye test was conducted in the following sequence: Tear meniscus height, tear break-up time test fluorescein staining, Schirmer’s I test, and rose Bengal staining.
Results: The prevalence of dry eye in the ophthalmology OPD, Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College, Kishanganj, was found to be 52%. The prevalence of dry eye increased progressively with age having a peak in the age group >70 years was 11.4%. The prevalence of dry eye was found to be higher in females (31.2%) than in males (20.8%). A higher prevalence of dry eye was found in rural residents (36%) than in urban dwellers (16%).
Conclusion: Dry eye is an increasingly prevalent multifactorial condition. Subjective symptoms of dryness can hide diseases other than dry eye. Hence, combined clinical and laboratory tests are required to make a diagnosis coupled with a proper understanding of the subject. The prevalence of dry eye falls within the range of previous reported studies. Further studies are needed to determine whether this is due to racial or environmental factors. More research is needed to delve into the causes of dry eye to have a proper overview of the existing problem to enable the development of new treatments with promising effectiveness.
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