Background: To determine the prevalence of signs and symptoms of ocular surface disease in two hospital-based cohorts; glaucoma patients and non-glaucoma patients.
Design: A cross-sectional, comparative case series.
Participants: Glaucoma patients (n = 300) prescribed topical glaucoma medications for ≥6 months were compared with control patients (n = 100) who were not applying prescribed topical medications.
Methods: A validated self-report questionnaire was used to elicit the extent of ocular symptoms. Signs of ocular surface and eyelid disease were assessed along with medication history.
Main Outcome Measures: Signs and symptoms of ocular surface pathology were determined including the tear film break-up time, fluorescein staining of the cornea and conjunctiva, meibomian gland dysfunction and Schirmer's test.
Results: A significant increase in the prevalence of ocular surface disease signs was observed in the glaucoma population, 70.3%, compared with controls, 33% (P < 0.001). The overall prevalence of clinically significant ocular surface disease symptoms was not significantly different between cohorts, 30.7% versus 24.0%, respectively (P = 0.252). Logistic regression analysis showed that the number of anti-glaucoma medications and duration of therapy were key predictors of significant ocular surface disease signs in the glaucoma group. There was no significant correlation between signs and symptoms of ocular surface disease in either group after adjusting for age and gender.
Conclusions: Signs and symptoms of ocular surface disease are relatively common in older patients, but signs of ocular surface disease are significantly higher in individuals who instil topical glaucoma therapy.