India on the brink of dry eye disease epidemic, says study

  1. According to a study published in the journal “The Ocular Surface”, nearly 40% of India’s urban population is likely to get dry eye disease by 2030.
  2. Dry eye disease, also known as dry eye syndrome, is a medical condition in which quantity and quality of tears fail to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. The disease could occur due to inadequate tear production i.e. aqueous deficient, tear film instability due to evaporation or mixed type. Tears are important for a) providing lubrication, b) reducing the risk of eye infection, c) washing away foreign matter in the eye and d) keeping the surface of the eyes smooth and clear.
  3. The study has found men were at a higher risk of contracting the disease in their 20s and 30s, while women were more vulnerable in their 40s and 50s.
  4. The high risk factors for developing the disease include age, urban residence, occupation and socio-economic affluence.
  5. The disease is progressive in nature with age. It could lead to corneal damage which when becomes irreversible can lead to visual impairment and blindness.