Aims To evaluate the role of 17-β-oestradiol, oestrone and total testosterone (TT) deficiency in the pathogenesis of severe evaporative dry eye syndrome (DES), investigating the relationship between tear osmolarity, tear film break-up time (TF-BUT), Schirmer test and serum sex hormones in postmenopausal women.
Methods 44 postmenopausal women were recruited for a case–control study: 22 women with severe evaporative DES (Group A) and 22 without DES (Group B). The tests performed included laboratory blood analysis: fasting plasma profile (17-β-oestradiol, oestrone and TT), glucose level and lipid profile. Detailed eye examinations, including corneal and conjunctival staining, tear osmolarity measurement, tear volume and TF-BUT, were performed. The Ocular Surface Disease Index Questionnaire was also administered.
Results Values of Schirmer test and TF-BUT in Group A were significantly lower in comparison with Group B (p<0.001). Serum levels of 17-β-oestradiol, oestrone and TT were significantly lower in Group A compared with Group B (p<0.05). In women with severe evaporative DES, the levels of 17-β-oestradiol, oestrone and TT were inversely correlated with the tear film osmolarity (r=−0.7, −0.88, −0.81, respectively).
Conclusions In postmenopausal women with severe evaporative DES, sex hormone levels are lower than control and that tear osmolarity is negatively correlated with sex hormone levels.
- Ocular surface
- Diagnostic tests/Investigation