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C. Yu, I. Friedman, J. Gurland; Risk Factors and Clinical Evaluation of Dry Eye Syndrome in Pediatric Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5322.
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Dry eye syndrome is traditionally thought to be a disease prevalent only in middle-age and elderly populations. However, many children present with symptoms and signs consistent with dry eye syndrome in our pediatric clinic. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of dry eye syndrome and associated risk factors in the pediatric population.
One hundred and sixteen eyes from 58 children(ranging from age 4 to 17) encountered consecutively were studied. Gender, age, ethnicity, past medical history, and presenting symptoms were recorded. Tear break-up time, corneal staining pattern, Schirmer test results, eyelid and conjunctival findings were evaluated.
Eighteen patients (31%) were found to have symptoms and physical findings consistent with dry eye syndrome. The most frequent symptoms were red eyes and tearing. Among the patients with dry eye syndrome, eight (44%) were males and ten(56%) were females. Past medical history of asthma was significantly more prevalent in patients with dry eye (55%) than the control group (33%) (p-value=0.024). Seasonal allergy was also found to be statistically more prevalent in the dry eye group (61% vs 30%, p-value=0.025).
Dry eye syndrome was found to be more prevalent in the pediatric population than previously reported. Risk factors such as asthma and seasonal allergy were strongly associated with dry eye syndrome. Immunological and environmental factors may play a major role in the pathogensis of dry eye syndrome in children.
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