The Association of Dry Eye Symptom Severity and Comorbid Insomnia in US Veterans

Anat Galor, Benjamin E. Seiden, Jasmine J. Park, William J. Feuer, Allison L. McClellan, Elizabeth R. Felix, Roy C. Levitt, Constantine D. Sarantopoulos, Douglas M. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To investigate the association between dry eye (DE) and insomnia symptom severity. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 187 individuals seen in the Miami Veterans Affairs eye clinic. An evaluation was performed consisting of questionnaires regarding insomnia (insomnia severity index [ISI]) and DE symptoms, including ocular pain, followed by a comprehensive ocular surface examination. Using a two-step cluster analysis based on intensity ratings of ocular pain, the patient population was divided into two groups (high and low ocular pain groups: HOP and LOP). A control group was ascertained at the same time from the same clinic as defined by no symptoms of DE (Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 [DEQ5], <6). The main outcome measure was the frequency of moderate or greater insomnia in the DE groups. RESULTS: The mean age of the study sample was 63 years, and 93% were male. All insomnia complaints were rated higher in the HOP group compared with the LOP and control groups (P<0.0005). Most (61%) individuals in the HOP group experienced insomnia of at least moderate severity (ISI≥15) compared with the LOP (41%) and control groups (18%) (P<0.0005). Black race (odds ratio [OR], 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-6.0; P=0.02), depression severity (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3; P<0.0005), and DE symptom severity (DEQ5; OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.01-1.2; P=0.03) were significantly associated with clinical insomnia (ISI≥15) after controlling for potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: After adjusting for demographics and medical comorbidities, we show that DE symptom severity is positively associated with insomnia severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S118-S124
JournalEye & contact lens
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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