Study of dry eye in post-menopausal women
Aim: The aim of the study is to evaluate hospital-based prevalence of dry eye in post-menopausal women, according to age, symptoms of dry eye and occupation. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional study of 200 post-menopausal women attending ophthalmology out-patient department of SRM Medical College Hospital for 6 months. The diagnosis of dry eye was based on Schirmer’s test. The value of < 5mm is considered severe dry eye, 5 – 8 mm is moderate dry Eye, 9–14 mm is mild dry eye and > 15 mm is normal. The results were analyzed using the Chi-square test.
Results: The prevalence of dry eye in post-menopausal women was 52%. The prevalence of dry eye increases with age from 26.8 % (50-54 years) to 85.7% (>70years). The prevalence of dry eye in patients with symptoms of dry eye was 88% and without symptoms was 30.4%. The Schirmer`s test showed majority of patients had mild dry eye (27.5%) followed by moderate dry eye in 21%. The prevalence of dry eye with outdoor occupation was 64.4% compared to 41.8% for indoors.
Conclusion: The prevalence of dry eye in this study was high. Even patients without symptoms of dry eye can have subclinical dry eye. Patients with outdoor occupation had a higher prevalence of dry eye. Simple treatment with artificial tear substitutes can effectively manage mild and moderate dry eye and help post-menopausal women in improving their quality of life. It would be advisable to screen all post-menopausal women for dry eye using a simple Schirmer`s test.
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