Association Between Dry Eye and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Subclinical Inflammation May Be Part of the Process

Eye Contact Lens. 2021 Jan 1;47(1):27-31. doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000716.


Purpose: To evaluate the changes in tear function in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and establish whether there is a correlation between hormonal levels, novel hematologic biomarkers, and dry eye parameters.

Material and method: Forty-seven patients with PCOS and 43 age-matched patients with unexplained infertility were included in the control group. Follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol, thyroid-stimulating hormone, prolactin, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), 17-OH progesterone, fasting and postprandial glucose, fasting insulin, and cholesterol metabolites were evaluated in both groups. In addition, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio were obtained from a complete blood count. The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire was administered, and all patients underwent tear break-up time (BUT) and Schirmer I tests. Bivariate correlations were investigated using Spearman correlation coefficient analysis.

Results: The mean age of the PCOS group and the control group was 27.66±3.96 years and 29.28±6.83 years, respectively. Schirmer I test scores and BUT values were significantly lower and OSDI results were significantly higher in the PCOS group (P=0.003, P<0.001, and P=0.004). An inverse correlation was found between DHEA-S and BUT values in the PCOS group (r=-0.296, P=0.043). Similarly, a negative correlation was also present between NLR and BUT values in the PCOS group (r=-0.322, P=0.027).

Conclusions: Dry eye can be well established by sensitive tests in patients with PCOS. The severity of dry eye may be correlated with the level of inflammation and hyperandrogenism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / complications
  • Young Adult


  • Luteinizing Hormone