Vol 40 No 1 Original Article PDF

Prevalence of Dry Eye Disease in an Urban Community

Kevin Matthew Serafin B. Panggat, MD, Rainier Victor Covar, MD, Ruben Lim Bon Siong, MD


To determine the prevalence of dry eye disease in an urban community in the Philippines.


This was a community-based cross-sectional study. Convenience sampling was conducted on residents of Barangay 733, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines. One hundred fifty-seven participants, 19 years old and above, underwent investigator-led interview using a dry-eye questionnaire, followed by dry-eye examination consisting of fluorescein tear break-up time (TBUT), corneal staining with fluorescein, conjunctival and posterior lid margin staining (PLM) with lissamine green, and Schirmer I test with and without anesthesia.


Of the 157 participants recruited, 148 (94%) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 52.35 years; 95 (64.2%) were females and 53 (35.8%) males. Thirty-four (22.9%) were diagnosed with dry eye disease, and the most common symptom reported was itching (76%). Those with dry eye had significantly higher ocular surface disease index score and subjective grading of ocular discomfort compared with those without the disease. Mean TBUT for those without dry eye was 12.74 seconds compared with 8.84 seconds for the dry eye group. The mean fluorescein corneal staining scores were 2 and 20 for the none and the dry eye groups respectively. The mean lissamine green conjunctival staining scores were 14 and 55 respectively. A positive PLM sign was present in 67.6% with dry eye vs. 5.6% in the none dry eye group. Mean Schirmer I test without anesthesia was 18.53 mm and 17.09 mm in the none and dry eye groups respectively. Mean Schirmer I test with anesthesia was 13.36 mm vs 11.94 mm respectively.


The prevalence rate of dry eye disease in an urban community in Manila was 22.9%. This figure was similar to those reported by neighboring Asian countries.

KeyWords: dry eye disease, dysfunctional tear syndrome, prevalence, tear instability