Dry Eye

Certain systemic diseases may lead to more significant dry eye disease symptoms

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Patients with Sjögren’s syndrome, facial rosacea, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral artery disease, and daily smoking history had more severe dry eye disease (DED) signs compared to patients without the condition, according to a study.

In this large-scale multi-center randomized clinical trial, 535 adult patients with moderate-to-severe DED underwent ocular surface exams and symptom evaluation using standardized protocols at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Systemic conditions reported as potential DED risk factors were analyzed for associations with the severity of DED signs and symptoms. Included conditions had ≥25 patients.

More severe DED signs were significantly associated with Sjögren’s syndrome (mean±SD of composite signs severity score: 0.52±0.17 with disease vs 0.43±0.13 without disease), facial rosacea (0.47±0.13 vs 0.43±0.13), rheumatoid arthritis (0.47±0.14 vs 0.42±0.12), peripheral artery disease (0.50±0.14 vs 0.43±0.13), and daily smoking history (0.45±0.13 vs 0.43±0.13).

“Understanding the systemic conditions and underlying etiologies that predispose some patients to severe DED can improve management,” the authors concluded.

Yu K, Bunya V, Maguire M, et al; DREAM Study Research Group. Systemic conditions associated with severity of dry eye signs and symptoms in the dry eye assessment and management (DREAM) study. Ophthalmol. 2021:S0161-6420(21)00235-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.03.030. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33785415.

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