Effects of hyperandrogenism on tear function and tear drainage in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

J Reprod Med. Jan-Feb 2011;56(1-2):65-70.


Objective: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinopathy characterized by chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism. Hormonal changes can affect ocular surface and tear functions. We evaluated dry eye symptoms, clinical tear film alterations, and tear clearance in patients with PCOS.

Study design: Thirty-five women with PCOS and 22 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study. An ocular surface disease index (OSDI) questionnaire was administered, and after the routine ophthalmologic examination tear film breakup time (TBUT) and Schirmer tests were performed. Tear clearance was assessed via fluorescein dye disappearance test (FDDT).

Results: No difference was observed in Schirmer test between the groups, however OSDI scores were significantly higher (p = 0.01) and TBUT was significantly lower (p = 0.01) in PCOS patients than in the control women. FDDTs were not different between the PCOS and control subjects.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients diagnosed with PCOS should be advised to obtain an ophthalmic examination, especially for dry eye.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / complications*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Tears / physiology*
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Fluorescein