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J.A. Davis, G.W. Ousler, III, N.A. Langelier, M.R. Schindelar, R. Abelson, M.B. Abelson; Seasonal Changes in Dry Eye Symptomatology . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):280.
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Environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, and wind speed are known to influence the signs and symptoms of dry eye. It may be suggested that seasonal changes in the weather may exacerbate this disease. We examined the effect of winter, spring, summer, and fall on subjective assessments of dry eye among patients residing in the Northeast.
Sixty–two (62) subjects diagnosed with dry eye from the Greater Boston Area completed a seven–question survey. The survey focused on questions that evaluated the time of year when their ocular discomfort was worst.
The following table shows the frequency of worst dry eye symptoms by season. Frequency of Worst Dry Eye Symptoms by Season
The response rate for each season is significantly different (p<0.001). The time of year when most dry eye patients in the Greater Boston Area experience their worst ocular discomfort is during the winter. It was also observed the fewest complaints occur during the summer.
The data confirms the clinical impression that seasonal changes in the weather significantly effect dry eye. The dry, cold, and windy environment of winter in the Northeast is the likely cause for the exacerbation of symptoms. Clinicians should be alerted to this seasonal variation when querying patients about their dry eye symptomatology.
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