Dr. Abhishek Onkar, Ms. Merin Ann Jose


Background and objective: Dry Eye Disease (DED) cause profound ocular morbidity, eventually reducing student's
academic performance. It is believed to be one of the most common ocular disorders in the student life. Those attending
the International Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) in 2007 defined dry eye as a multi-factorial disease of the tears and ocular
surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear-film instability, with potential damage to the
ocular surface (Anon., 2007). The aim of the study is to find out the prevalence of Dry Eyes Syndrome among the Medical
and the Nursing students.
Materials& methods: The analysis was done based on a cross sectional study of two months duration that was
conducted on second- and third-year students from the medical and nursing college (200 each). The students who had a
recent history of use of ocular drugs or systemic drugs like anti-hypertensives and anti-cholinergic, who suffer from
connective tissue disorders and allergic disorders or with a habit of alcohol consumption and smoking are excluded
from the study.
Results: The Ocular Surface Disease index (OSDI) scores, Tear film Breakup Time (TBUT) scores and Schirmer's scores
were abnormal in 26%, 39% and 19% of medical and 14%, 20% and 8% of nursing students respectively which were
statistically significant (p<0.5).
Conclusion: The medical fraternity is at a relatively higher risk to develop Dry Eye Disease as compared to the nursing
fraternity due to greater exposure to x-ray screens, excessive use of laptops for research purposes, use of smart teaching
techniques, increased hours of teaching involved, constant use of microscopy for laboratory purposes and teaching
practices in air-conditioned rooms (which in itself causes EDE). Once the DED develops there is profound morbidity
which eventually reduced the overall performance of the individual in academics as well as day to day activities. Thus, we
need to focus more on the prevention of the disease occurrence and if at all the disease has occurred thorough focus
should be on the required interventions to prevent further worsening of the situation.


Ocular Surface Disorder Index (OSDI), Tear film Breakup Time Test (TBUT), Schirmer test

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