The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Hormone therapy & dry eye in postmenopausal women

Effectiveness of hormone therapy for treating dry eye syndrome in postmenopausal women: a randomized trial.
J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Jun;93(6):647-52.
Piwkumsribonruang N, Somboonporn W, Luanratanakorn P, Kaewrudee S, Tharnprisan P, Soontrapa S.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of hormone therapy (HT) on dry eye syndrome remains debatable.

OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy of HT on dry eye syndrome.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: A randomized controlled, double blind, parallel group, community-based study in 42 post-menopausal patients was conducted. The patients had dry eye syndrome and were not taking any medications. They were assigned to one of two groups. Group A comprised 21 patients given transdermal 17 beta-estradiol (50 mg/day) and medroxy progesterone acetate (2.5 mg/day) continuously for three months and group B comprised 21 patients given both transdermal and oral placebo. Participants in the study were included for final analysis. The improvement of dry eye symptoms were measured by visual analog scale, tear secretion, intraocular pressure, corneal thickness, and tear breakup time determined before treatment and at 6 and 12 weeks of treatment.

RESULTS: At 12 weeks, the number of patients who reported improvement of dry eye symptoms was greater in the HT group than that in the placebo group. However, the difference was not statistically significant (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.04-2.80 and 0.60, 95% CI 0.33-2.03 in right and left eye, respectively). For other parameters, there was no significant difference between the two groups.

CONCLUSION: According to the present study, there is no strong evidence to support the use of HT for treating dry eye syndrome. The limited number of participants included in the present study may have contributed to the insignificant effects.