Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dry Eye Syndrome: A Problem For Nearly 5 Million In The US

Date:
March 11, 2007
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
As a clinical diagnosis, Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) may not appear to be a major health issue, but in a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers found that DES had a significant impact on quality of life. With an estimated prevalence of 7.8 percent of women and 4.7 percent of men over 50, it affects 4.8 million people in the United States. Although some risk factors have been identified, the cause of DES is still largely unknown.

As a clinical diagnosis, Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) may not appear to be a major health issue, but in a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers found that DES had a significant impact on quality of life. With an estimated prevalence of 7.8% of women and 4.7% of men over 50, it affects 4.8 million people in the United States. Although some risk factors have been identified, the cause of DES is still largely unknown.

DES is characterized by a deficiency in the quantity and/or quality of tears, an unstable tear film, ocular surface damage and bothersome symptoms such as ocular irritation, dryness, fatigue, and fluctuating visual disturbances.

It is one of the most frequent reasons patients seek eye care. With few published data on the impact of DES on quality of life, the researchers assessed the effect on several common activities such as reading, driving, computer work, professional work and watching television.

Selecting subjects who were participating in two large studies, the Women's Health Study and the Physicians' Health Study, and who had answered three DES-related questions, supplementary questionnaires were filled out by almost 600 participants. One-third met the criteria for DES.

Writing in the article, Debra A. Schaumberg, ScD, OD, MPH, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Departments of Medicine and Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and fellow investigators state, "DES is a common problem that may often be overlooked clinically as it tends not to be a common cause of permanent visual morbidity as traditionally measured. The interface between the tear film and the surrounding air represents the largest refractive index differential in the human optical system and is consequently of critical importance for clear vision. DES patients with an unstable tear film can usually clear a blurred image temporarily by blinking frequently to redistribute the tear film over the ocular surface. However, this may not be sustainable during activities requiring prolonged gazing, and those with more severe symptoms may experience difficulty keeping their eyes open.

Our findings of nearly 3 and 5-fold increased risks of having problems with activities such as reading, computer use and professional work among both women and men with DES who did and did not use artificial tears, respectively, support and extend those of prior studies by pointing to specific areas of functioning that are problematic among people with DES".

"The present study suggests that DES can have a significant impact on visual function that can diminish a person's quality of everyday living," continues Dr. Schaumberg. "More specifically, the present study shows that crucial daily activities of modern living such as reading, computer use, professional work, driving and TV watching are all negatively impacted by DES."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Dry Eye Syndrome: A Problem For Nearly 5 Million In The US." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070309103057.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2007, March 11). Dry Eye Syndrome: A Problem For Nearly 5 Million In The US. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070309103057.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Dry Eye Syndrome: A Problem For Nearly 5 Million In The US." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070309103057.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins