Relationships between short-term exposure to an indoor environment and dry eye (De) symptoms

Maria A. Idarraga, Juan S. Guerrero, Samantha G. Mosle, Frank Miralles, Anat Galor, Naresh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Air composition influences Dry Eye (DE) symptoms as demonstrated by studies that have linked the outdoor environment to DE. However, there is insufficient data on the effect of short-term exposure to indoor environments on DE symptoms. We conducted a prospective experimental research, in which an older building served as an experimental site, and a newer building served as the control site. Indoor air quality was monitored in both buildings. One-hundred-and-ninety-four randomly selected individuals were interviewed in the afternoon exiting the buildings and de-identified responses were recorded. Self-reported DE symptoms were modeled with respect to experimental and control buildings, adjusting for potential confounders. The experimental site had 2-fold higher concentration of airborne particulate matter (24,436 vs. 12,213 ≥ 0.5 µm/ft3) and microbial colonies (1066 vs. 400/m3), as compared to the control building. DE symptoms were reported by 37.5% of individuals exiting the experimental and 28.4% exiting the control building. In the univariate analysis, subjects exiting the experimental building were 2.21× more likely to report worsening of DE symptoms since morning compared to the control building (p < 0.05). When adjusting for confounders, including a history of eye allergy, subjects from the experimental building were 13.3× more likely to report worsening of their DE symptoms (p < 0.05). Our findings suggest that short-term exposure to adverse indoor environmental conditions, specifically air pollution and bioaerosols, has an acutely negative impact on DE symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1316
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Bioaerosols
  • Dry Eye
  • Indoor Air Pollution
  • Older Buildings
  • Short-term Exposure
  • Sick Building Syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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