Purpose: To detect whether untreated primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension is associated with an impaired basal tear turnover.
Methods: Basal tear turnover was determined by fluorophotometry in 18 patients with newly detected, untreated primary open-angle glaucoma and 29 patients with untreated ocular hypertension. The results were compared with those of 27 age-matched control subjects.
Results: The basal tear turnover in glaucoma patients (mean +/- S.D., 11.4 +/- 3.1%/min) was 22% lower than in patients with ocular hypertension (14.7 +/- 3.0%/min; P = .0007) and 27% lower than in control subjects (15.7 +/- 5.3%/min; P = .001). Tear turnover of patients with ocular hypertension did not differ significantly from that of control subjects (P = .4). The basal tear turnover values were found to decrease with increasing vertical or horizontal cup/disk ratios (P = .004 and P = .008, respectively).
Conclusions: Primary open-angle glaucoma, but not ocular hypertension, was found to be associated with an impaired basal tear turnover. Dry eye complaints may originate from decreased basal tear turnover as a result of glaucoma drug therapy as well as from primary open-angle glaucoma itself.