The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Children with dry eye may not say so

Children with dry eye type conditions may report less severe symptoms than adult patients.

To compare the symptom scores of children with those of adults with the same degree of mild ocular surface signs.
This study included patients with at least one ocular surface symptom and sign. Data obtained from 45 subjects aged 8.79 ± 2.95 yr (Mean ± SD) (pediatric group) and 45 adults aged 52.87 ± 10.87 yr (adult group) who were matched to each pediatric patient based on ocular surface signs were analyzed. Demographic data including age and sex; parameters of ocular surface signs including fluorescein staining score, tear film breakup time and Schirmer test score; symptom scores including ocular surface disease index (OSDI) and visual analog scale (VAS) were assessed and compared between the two groups.
Significant differences emerged in sex ratio as well as in age between the two groups (P < 0.001, for both). Regarding ocular surface signs and tear film tests, the study revealed no significant differences in fluorescein staining score (1.44 ± 1.95 vs. 1.40 ± 1.68 P = 0.913), tear film break up time (4.96 ± 1.94 vs. 3.82 ± 1.85 s, P = 0.612) and Schirmer score (12.79 ± 9.05 vs. 10.11 ± 8.45 mm / 5 min, P = 0.370). Regarding dry eye symptoms, both OSDI and VAS were significantly lower in the pediatric group (P = 0.001 and < 0.001, respectively) than in the adult group.
Pediatric patients with mild ocular surface damage may report fewer dry eye symptoms compared to adult patients with similar stages of ocular surface damage.

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2012 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Han SB, Yang HK, Hyon JY, Hwang JM.


Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 166 Gumiro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, 463-707, Korea.