The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Journal roundup: Sleep and dry eye - and depression & anxiety thrown in for good measure

Sleep quality, depression/anxiety, and dry eye


This study analyzed the relationship between sleep quality, mood, and ocular surface disease. I was gratified to find that they appeared to grapple with the chicken-and-egg nature of these questions, because I consider this to be far too often overlooked: Are you sleeping poorly because of your eyes, or are your eyes doing more poorly because of your sleep? Or the classic one - are your eyes feeling worse because you’re depressed or anxious, or are you depressed or anxious because of your eyes? And what is the probability of the answer to every single question being yes?

We need more and more, and better and better, exploration of these topics. But in the meantime, this study reinforced some things we know about the relationship between dry eye and depression. I appreciated this highlight -

More severe symptoms of dry eye were significantly associated with a higher level of anxiety in patients with DED 

…Especially after another recent study found no correlation between dry eye symptom severity and depression (though there was an overall association).

More: Association Between Sleep Quality, Mood Status, and Ocular Surface Characteristics in Patients With Dry Eye Disease. (Wu et al, Cornea, December 2018)


Sleep deprivation and dry eye

Well… this was a mouse study. (I hate those. But I digress.) It starts by summing up what we know about sleep and dry eye and why this matters in our current culture. Then it delves into the high-falutin’ science aspects of why and how sleep deprivation induces dry eye.

As I glance at the clock and ponder what I’m doing right now and why, the irony is not entirely lost upon me. Note to self: Step up the pleas for investment in my Patreon account so I don’t have to do all my literature catch-up in the middle of the night.

More: Sleep Deprivation Induces Dry Eye Through Inhibition of PPARα Expression in Corneal Epithelium. (Tang et al, IOVS, November 2018)