Cases of Dry Eye Syndrome Are More Likely to Affect Women Than Men

The majority of the diagnosed prevalent cases of dry eye syndrome (DES) in the seven major markets in 2016 were women. In the U.S. alone, there were 11.4 million cases of DES in women compared with 5.2 million cases in men, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a multi-factorial disease of the eye caused by dryness, decreased tear production, or increased tear film evaporation. It results in symptoms of discomfort such as visual disturbance and tear film instability.

Numerous epidemiology studies in various populations around the world have found that DES is more common in women, though the degree of skew toward women varies by the population studied. The skew is particularly pronounced in postmenopausal women. Sex hormones are known to play a significant role in ocular surface homeostasis, and studies are investigating the mechanisms by which disturbances may result in dry eye syndrome.

Kasey Fu, a health care analayst at GlobalData said, “Anti-androgen therapy, Sjögren’s syndrome and premature ovarian failure also may increase the risk for DES, as these conditions are associated with androgen deficiency. Treatment and disease prevention could potentially target older women as a significant population for therapeutics development.”