Age-related changes of the ocular surface: a hospital setting-based retrospective study

J Ophthalmol. 2014:2014:532378. doi: 10.1155/2014/532378. Epub 2014 Aug 11.


Purpose. To investigate the effects of age on the prevalence of ocular surface diseases (OSD), adherence to treatment, and recovery rates. Patients and Methods. Retrospective analysis of 3000 clinical records from a first-level general ophthalmology clinic. Patients with OSD were prospectively submitted a questionnaire to assess compliance and recovery rates. Results. OSD prevalence was 10.3%. Patients with OSD were significantly older than patients without it: 67.5 ± 20.3 versus 57.0 ± 22.0 years (P = 0.036). No significant difference in season distribution was shown. Dry eye disease (DED) represented 58% of OSD; its prevalence increased with age until 80 years old and suddenly decreased thereafter. Asymptomatic DED was 37%. Adherence to treatment in OSD was very high (94%); recovery rates were lower in patients aged 21-40 and 61-80 (resp., 65.5% and 77.8%) and this was associated with higher OSDI scores. Tear substitutes represented 50% of all prescribed medications; their use increased with age. Discussion. In a "real-life" low-tech setting, OSD showed a prevalence of 10.3%. DED was the most prevalent disease, and it was asymptomatic in more than 1/3 of cases.