Risk Factor Analysis for Severe Dry Eye Symptoms

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Ocular and non-ocular risk factors for severe dry eye symptoms were identified.
Ocular and non-ocular risk factors for severe dry eye symptoms were identified.

HealthDay News -- Severe dry eye symptoms and ocular pain at baseline are associated with persistent severe dry eye symptoms 1 year later, according to a study published online December 22 in JAMA Ophthalmology.1

Erin S. Ong, from the Miami Veteran Administration Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study among patients with a wide variety of dry eye symptoms and signs. The authors examined the change in dry eye symptom severity during 1 year and conducted baseline risk factor analysis for severe dry eye symptoms at 1 year.

The researchers found that 44.8% of the 120 patients with no symptoms or mild-to-moderate symptoms at baseline progressed to more severe symptoms at 1 year. Among the 62 patients with severe symptoms at baseline, 74.2% reported that severe symptoms persisted at 1 year. Severe dry eye symptoms, ocular pain, and neuropathic pain-like ocular symptoms were baseline ocular risk factors for severe dry eye symptoms at 1 year. Sleep disturbances, mental health status, non-ocular pain, and medications were non-ocular risk factors. The most significant risk factors in a multivariable analysis were sleep apnea (odds ratio [OR], 3.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 14.49), Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 score (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.30), and post-traumatic stress disorder score (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.08).

"Our results suggest that pain perception and severity are important when evaluating and managing dry eye," the authors write.

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  1. Ong ES, Alghamdi YA, Levitt RC, et al. Longitudinal Examination of Frequency of and Risk Factors for Severe Dry Eye Symptoms in US Veterans. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.4925.
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