Epidemiology of dry eye syndrome in Hong Kong: a cross-sectional population-based study
Aims: To evaluate the epidemiology of dry eye syndrome in a population-based sample in Hong Kong and to assess the correlation between findings from Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire and Schirmer’s test.
Method: In this cross-sectional study in a health promotion program, all subjects were asked to complete the Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire and those who scored above 20 were asked to undergo Schirmer’s test with topical anesthesia.
Results: A total of 235 subjects were recruited of whom 110 underwent the Schirmer’s test. The prevalence of dry eye syndrome was estimated to be 7.7% using a definition including both subjective and objective measurements. There was no significant correlation between the Ocular Surface Disease Index scores and average Schirmer’s test scores (Spearman rho = 0.075, p = 0.44). Older subjects (aged 46-55 years) had a significantly higher mean index score than younger persons (aged 18-25 years) [p = 0.006]. An inverse correlation between daily hours of computer use and Schirmer’s test scores was noted (Spearman rho = −0.20, p = 0.032).
Conclusions: Dry eye syndrome is a prevalent condition locally. Although the Chinese-translated version of the Ocular Surface Disease Index was found to be a useful and convenient instrument in evaluating symptoms of dry eye syndrome, its use as the sole instrument to diagnose dry eye syndrome in this locality appears questionable.
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