Vol.49 No.1 Original Research PDF

Prevalence of Dry Eye Disease in a Community in Baguio City

Ruben Lim Bon Siong, MD1,2, Jayvee S. Rivera, MD1, Carlo Leandro R. Igama, MD1,3

1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila-Philippine General Hospital, Manila, Philippines
2Eye Institute, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City, Philippines
3Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Baguio City, Philippines

Correspondence: Ruben Lim Bon Siong, MD
Office Address: Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila, Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Office Phone Number: +63285548400 local 8502
Email Address: rlimbonsiong@up.edu.ph

Disclosure: The authors report no conflict of interest.


Objective: This study determined the prevalence of dry eye disease (DED) in a community located in a high- altitude tropical city in the Philippines.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Barangay Lualhati in Baguio City from March 2019 to September 2022. Convenience sampling was done in recruiting adult permanent residents of the community. The participants underwent standardized DED evaluation consisting of symptom questionnaire, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scoring, slit-lamp examination, fluorescein tear break-up time (TBUT) measurement, ocular surface fluorescein and lissamine green staining, and Schirmer test with and without topical anesthesia. DED was classified as aqueous tear deficiency type, evaporative type, or mixed type.

Results: Data from 272 participants were analyzed which represented 23% of the adult population of the community. There were 111 participants who fulfilled the DED definition, and the prevalence rate of DED was 41%. The mean age of those with DED was 43.0 ± 17.6 years while the mean age of those without DED was 51.8 ± 16.6 years (p<0.001). More females (60%) had DED than males (40%). Majority (82%) reported use of digital devices as the main exacerbating factor. Mean OSDI score was significantly higher in those with DED than in those without DED (27.2 + 6.8 and 10.7 ± 6.4, respectively) (p<0.001). Corneal and conjunctival staining scores were also significantly higher in subjects with DED. Evaporative DED was the most common (88.3%). Mixed-type DED was seen in 11.7%. None had pure aqueous tear deficiency dry eye.

Conclusion: The prevalence rate of DED is greater in areas of higher altitude and DED can be exacerbated by prolonged screen time. This condition is no longer just a problem of the elderly and is now also seen in younger patients. All symptomatic patients should undergo tear break-up time evaluation since evaporative or short TBUT is the predominant type of DED.