Dry Eye

Is There a Link Between Dry Eye Disease and Depression?

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In this large-scale, crowdsourced observational study, iPhone users in Japan who downloaded the phone application DryEyeRhythm (N = 4,454 [mean age, 27.9 ± 12.6 years; female, 66.7%]) were included. Depressive symptoms were defined as having a Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) score ≥ 40 and patients with an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score ≥ 13 were defined as having dry eye symptoms (mild, 13-22; moderate, 23-32; and severe, 33-100).

SDS scores were compared to participants with normal eye and mild, moderate, and severe OSDI-based dry eye symptoms. The association between dry eye severity and depressive symptoms was analyzed with logistic regression after adjusting for demographic characteristics, medical history, and lifestyle habits.

The study found that, 58.2% of patients who had depressive symptoms had normal eyes, 70.9% had mild dry eye, 79.4% had moderate dry eye, and 85.0% had severe dry eye (P < 0.001). The adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for depressive symptoms (SDS score of ≥ 40) were 1.62 (1.35-1.95) for mild, 2.39 (1.92-2.97) for moderate, and 3.29 (2.70-4.00) for severe dry eye symptoms.

The authors concluded, that “This large-scale crowdsourced clinical study using DryEyeRhythm suggests that depressive symptoms are more common in individuals with more severe [dry eye] symptoms.



Inomata T; Iwagami M; Nakamura M, et al. Association between dry eye and depressive symptoms: large-scale crowdsourced Research using the DryEyeRhythm iPhone application. Ocul Surf. 2020;[Online ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtos.2020.02.007


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