The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Age & gender & dry eye

Non news... older = drier, and men get it too.

Eye. 2009 Feb 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Age- and gender-related tear function changes in normal population.
Ozdemir M, Temizdemir H.
1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras, Turkey.

Purpose: Schirmer and tear film break-up time tests are most commonly used in the diagnosis of dry eye syndrome. The aim of the study is to investigate the age- and gender-related changes in the results of Schirmer and tear film break-up time tests in normal population.

Methods: This randomized prospective study included 140 normal volunteers (70 male and 70 female subjects) with no ocular symptoms or ocular surface disorders. Schirmer and tear film break-up time tests were assessed in only one eye (right) of each subject. The study subjects were divided into seven groups according to their ages. Each group was composed of 20 eyes of 20 subjects (10 male and 10 female subjects). For variance analysis, Kruskal-Wallis test was used. Mann-Whitney U-test was performed for double comparisons.

Results: We detected a statistically highly significant difference among the age groups in respect to the tear film break-up time test (P<0.001), especially there was a statistically highly significant difference between the younger and older age groups. There was no statistically significant difference in the Schirmer test results. But, we found that Schirmer test values were gradually decreased with advancing age. Tear function tests did not show statistically significant difference according to sex.

Conclusions: Our results reveal that there is a decline in the tear function test values, especially the tear film break-up time test values with advancing age. We suggest that the age of subjects should be taken into consideration in the evaluation of tear function test results.
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