Purpose: This study aimed to determine whether patients with dry eye syndrome [DES] have more symptoms of anxiety and depression than controls without DES.
Methods: In this case-control study, the sample consisted of 89 DES subjects (13 diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome [SS]) and 73 control subjects. Each subject was diagnosed as having DES or was chosen as a control subject by an ophthalmologist. The Zung Self Rating Anxiety Scales (SAS), Zung Self Rating Depression Scales (SDS), and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) were administered to all subjects. Scores of SAS and SDS, measuring level of anxiety and depression symptoms, were compared between the DES group and the control group. Correlations with other health status measures were conducted.
Results: The SAS and SDS scores of the DES group were significantly higher than the control group (P < 0.001, P < 0.001). The prevalence of DES subjects with anxiety or depression symptoms was significantly higher than in the control group (P = 0.003, P < 0.001). In the DES group, SAS scores were found to be correlated with OSDI and educational level. SDS scores were found to be correlated with OSDI. Neither SAS nor SDS scores were correlated with age, sex, household income, tear break up time (BUT), Schirmer Test 1 (S1T), corneal fluorescein staining (FL), or visual acuity.
Conclusion: Anxiety and depression are correlated with DES, demonstrating that DES is an important public health problem that merits increased attention and research.