Dry eye disease: Consideration for women's health

Cynthia Matossian, Marguerite McDonald, Kendall E. Donaldson, Kelly K. Nichols, Sarah Maciver, Preeya K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disorder of the ocular surface and tear homeostasis that can result in discomfort, pain, and visual disturbance. Untreated, DED can become chronic, progressive, and significantly affect an individual's quality of life. Women are disproportionately affected by DED, are diagnosed at a younger age, and experience more severe symptoms compared with men. DED is associated with a wide range of comorbid conditions; there is a strong association between DED and autoimmune disorders, especially those that affect women at many times the rate of men. Treatment response questionnaires indicate women respond better to a wellness model of treatment for DED than men. Furthermore, women's health care-seeking behaviors provide opportunities for general practitioners, specialists, and women's health centers to help identify women with DED or at risk for DED for referral to an eye care specialist. This review of the prevalence of DED in women, and gender and sex-specific aspects of DED, highlight a significant opportunity for action. Earlier diagnosis and treatment of this common but burdensome condition could significantly improve a woman's quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-514
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • autoimmune disease
  • chronic
  • comorbid conditions
  • dry eye disease
  • epidemiology
  • postmenopausal women
  • primary care
  • progressive
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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