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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 35-41

Relationship between dry eye syndrome and occupational categories

Faculty of Medicine, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amina Tarig Mohamed Ahmed Sharief
Ahmed Sharief, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum
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DOI: 10.4103/sjopthal.sjopthal_19_19

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Background: Dry eye syndrome is a broad clinical term that is used to describe a variety of ocular conditions that are characterized by ocular irritation and discomfort secondary to decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation. It is highly prevalent, with almost 1/3 of ophthalmic patients presenting with DES-related symptoms. Many risk factors were linked to the development of DES, including occupation-related risk factors. Aims and Objectives: This study was a cross-sectional study aimed at identifying the association between dry eye syndrome and various occupational categories to determine the occupation-specific risk factors in patients attending the corneal outpatient clinics of Khartoum Eye Teaching Hospital. Materials and Methods: Data were collected from all patients aging 25-50 years who presented with DES-related symptoms and had a positive Schirmer's test. A questionnaire was used in the data collection process. The data were analyzed using SPSS 20. Results: Among the 450 participants, 279 were females (62%). About 140 patients were white-collar workers (31.1%), 134 were blue-collar workers (67 skilled and 67 unskilled; constituting 29.8%), 112 were green-collar workers (24.9%) and the remaining 64 patients were unemployed. (14.2%) An increased risk (in comparison to the unemployed group) was observed for the white-collar (highest risk), blue-collar and green-collar (lowest risk) categories. (P-value < 0.05) Additionally, a highly significant association was noted between the female sex, computer use, and outdoor occupations. (P-value = 0.000) Conclusion: There is an increased risk of developing dry eye syndrome in the various occupational categories. Furthermore, females, computer users, and outdoor workers are also at high risk.

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