Globally, studies show dry eye syndrome affects 5 to 50 percent of the population (1). Within the U.S., a National Wellness survey resulted in 6.8 percent of the adult population having been diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome (2). Dry eye can be attributed to several factors, such as age, menopause, contact lens wear, and refractive surgery. The symptoms of the chronic condition include daily irritants such as eye fatigue or computer eye strain.
There are two main components that lead to the symptoms of dry eye, aqueous fluid production and lipid secretion. The aqueous fluid is secreted by the lacrimal gland while the lipid is secreted by the Meibomian gland. The role of the aqueous fluid is to hydrate the eye and the lipid functions to keep the aqueous fluid from evaporating too quickly. If tear evaporation is accelerated, visual acuity can decrease and the eyes can feel irritated. Meibomian Gland dysfunction (MGD) statistics has been limited because there is no consensus regarding the definition of the condition however, a Beijing Study found that as high as 68% of people over forty years old suffered from MGD (3). Dry Eye Syndrome and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction are increasingly common conditions that effect millions of people across the globe. See your eye doctor today to see if you are among the people suffering from these chronic conditions.
1) Stapleton F, Alves M, Bunya VY, et al. TFOS DEWS II Epidemiology Report. Ocul Surf 2017; 15:334.
2) Farrand KF, Fridman M, Stillman IÖ, Schaumberg DA. Prevalence of Diagnosed Dry Eye Disease in the United States Among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older. Am J Ophthalmol 2017; 182:90.
3) Nichols, Kelly. The International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction:
Executive Summary. Investigative Ophthalmology Vision Science. 2011 Mar; 52(4):