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G. Wilson, C. Begley, D. Horner, J. Page, A. Todd, L. Henderson; Ocular Discomfort From Pterygium in Men and Women in Guanajuato, Mexico . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5567.
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To determine if men and women with pterygium report discomfort equally.
A population was selected with a high prevalence of pterygium. Ocular surface discomfort was determined using a questionnaire that was a Spanish version of an English questionnaire designed to evaluate symptoms in dry eye patients (Begley et al. IOVS 2003;44:4753–4761). Questions were asked about seven sensations of discomfort, and on five environmental sources of irritation that were not present in the original questionnaire: smoke, cigarette smoke, dust, wind, and sun. Because most of the subjects had limited reading skills, the questionnaire was administered orally to the 110 subjects. The subsample reported here was made up of 28 matched pairs of subjects (one man and one woman in each pair with the same age and pterygium stage), and analysed statistically using the Mann–Whitney U Test (two–tailed). The pterygium stage was based on a scale suggested by Anduze and Biscoe (Ann Ophthalmol 1998;30(2):92–94).
The matched subjects had an age range of 46 to 82 years. The pterygium stages ranged from localized minor disturbances of the nasal conjunctiva to compound pterygium. For all seven sensations of discomfort, women gave a higher average response than men. This was statistically significant for dryness, sandiness, hotness and itchiness, and tired eyes (p<.05). Similarly, for all five sources of irritation women gave a higher average response than men. The difference was most robust for dust and wind (p<.001), but also statistically significant for smoke and sun (p<.05).
Women with pterygium reported more discomfort than men. Studies on ocular surface discomfort should take into account the different responses provided by men and women.
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