Dry eye disease: Consideration for women's health

TitleDry eye disease: Consideration for women's health
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMatossian, C., M. McDonald, K. Donaldson, K. Nichols, S. MacIver, and P. Gupta
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Keywordsautoimmune disease, chronic, chronic pain, comorbid conditions, comorbidity, disease burden, Dry eye, Dry eye disease, Epidemiology, eye pain, female, health care utilization, health service, help seeking behavior, human, iatrogenic disease, male, pathophysiology, postmenopausal women, Prevalence, primary care, priority journal, progressive, quality of life, Review, sex difference, women's health

Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disorder of the ocular surface and tear homeostasis that can result in discomfort, pain, and visual disturbance. Untreated, DED can become chronic, progressive, and significantly affect an individual's quality of life. Women are disproportionately affected by DED, are diagnosed at a younger age, and experience more severe symptoms compared with men. DED is associated with a wide range of comorbid conditions; there is a strong association between DED and autoimmune disorders, especially those that affect women at many times the rate of men. Treatment response questionnaires indicate women respond better to a wellness model of treatment for DED than men. Furthermore, women's health care-seeking behaviors provide opportunities for general practitioners, specialists, and women's health centers to help identify women with DED or at risk for DED for referral to an eye care specialist. This review of the prevalence of DED in women, and gender and sex-specific aspects of DED, highlight a significant opportunity for action. Earlier diagnosis and treatment of this common but burdensome condition could significantly improve a woman's quality of life. © Cynthia Matossian et al. 2019; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2019.