Dry eye disease symptoms and quality of life in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women

Climacteric. 2021 Jun;24(3):261-266. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2020.1849087. Epub 2020 Dec 7.


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate dry eye disease (DED) symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in a group of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire.

Methods: An observational study was performed in a group of 1947 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, aged between 45 and 79 years. The personal data collected were age, menopause status, age at menopause, and OSDI score.

Results: The mean age of the group was 54.18 ± 6.84 years, with a mean age at menopause of 49.45 ± 4.02 years. The average OSDI score was 29.20 ± 19.4. The overall prevalence of DED symptoms was 79%, increasing significantly in postmenopausal women, 76.4% vs. 80.5% (p = 0.029). In our group, 37.7% had severe DED symptoms. Ocular symptoms, vision-related functions, and environmental trigger scores were higher in postmenopausal women, leading to a lower QoL. The severity of OSDI score increases with age (β coefficient: 0.15 [95% confidence interval: 0.02; -0.28]), while the severity of OSDI score decreases with a later onset age of menopause (β coefficient: -0.27 [95% confidence interval: -0.55; -0.01]).

Conclusions: DED symptoms are highly prevalent in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women had a higher prevalence of symptoms and higher OSDI scores than perimenopausal women. The severity of DED symptoms and vision-related functions leads to poorer QoL.

Keywords: Dry eye disease symptoms; Ocular Surface Disease Index; perimenopause; postmenopause; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Perimenopause / psychology*
  • Postmenopause / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires