More Than 3.2 Million U.S. Women Have Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common eye problem in the United States, especially for women.

Nearly the health histories with respect to dry eyes of 40,000 women who were part of the Women’s Health Study were assessed and researchers determined that dry eyes is a problem  women, from their 40’s to older ages where dry eyes is more common.  They looked at the women’s history of diagnosed dry eye symptoms and dry eye syndrome – and defined dry eye syndrome as the presence of dryness and irritation frequently or chronically.

They also found that the risk of dry eye syndrome increases as we age.  They found 5.7% occurrence among women younger than 50 years, and 9.8% amount women older than 75.  From this information they were able to extrapolate that 7.8% of American women have dry eye syndrome – 3.23 million women 50 or older, as of 2009.

  • They also found that Asian-American and Hispanic women were more likely to report severe symptoms.
  • Income differences were insignificant.
  • More educated women were less likely to have dry eye syndrome
  • Women from the South had the highest rates of dry eye, although the difference was mild.

Learn more about dry eye syndrome, including advice on treatment and nutrition.

Source:  Prevalence of dry eye syndrome among US women, Schaumberg, et al, Am J Ophthalmol. 2003 Aug;136(2):318-26.

Researchers: Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.