Dry Eye Disease (DED) is a multifactorial disease of the interpalpebral ocular surface and tear film that leads to discomfort, fatigue and disturbance in vision. DED affects patients’ quality of life and leads eventually to decrease of productivity. Moreover, it has a considerable socioeconomic burden. It is a growing underdiagnosed health issue and the possible associated risk factors are very common and keep growing worldwide.
To assess the prevalence of DED and potential associated risk factors in the Northern West Bank of Palestine.
A cross sectional study was conducted in 16 selected towns in Northern West Bank governorates during December 2016 to September 2017. An interviewer-assisted Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire was used to study DED symptoms in the study population. Further evaluation of clinical signs of DED was performed using the following objective tests: tear film break-up time (TBUT), fluorescein corneal staining (FL/S) and Schirmer test. Subjects with an OSDI score of 13 or above were considered symptomatic of DED, and DED was defined if an OSDI score ≥ 13 is accompanied by at least one of the following signs in the worse eye: TBUT ≤10 s, Schirmer score ≤ 5 mm and fluorescein corneal staining ≥ grade 1.
Seven hundred sixty-nine subjects were recruited from the general non-clinical population in the West Bank. The mean age of participants was 43.61 ± 18.57 years ranging from 18 to 90 years. Females constitute 52.7% of the study population. Based on the diagnostic criteria, the prevalence of DED was 64% (95% confidence interval 60.6–67.3). DED was significantly associated with female gender p = (0.001) and older age p = (0.001).
The prevalence of DED is high in the study population. Older age and female gender were associated risk factors with the development of DED.