Original Research

Prevalence of dry eye amongst black and Indian university students aged 18–30 years

Bryce Castelyn, Sdudizwe Majola, Rachel Motilal, Maxine T. Naidu, Siyabonga A. Ndebele, Tasnim A. Vally, Naimah E. Khan
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 74, No 1 | a14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v74i1.14 | © 2015 Bryce Castelyn, Sdudizwe Majola, Rachel Motilal, Maxine T. Naidu, Siyabonga A. Ndebele, Tasnim A. Vally, Naimah E. Khan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 September 2014 | Published: 31 July 2015

About the author(s)

Bryce Castelyn, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Sdudizwe Majola, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rachel Motilal, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Maxine T. Naidu, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Siyabonga A. Ndebele, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Tasnim A. Vally, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Naimah E. Khan, Department of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The overall prevalence of dry eye in South Africa seems to be increasing. University students work under conditions predisposing them to dry eye, which may affect some tasks. The predominant race groups at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) are black and Indian, which suggested a study in this student population to assist the diagnosis and management of such subjects.

Aim and setting: To compare the prevalence of dry eye amongst black and Indian students at the UKZN’s Westville campus.

Methods: One hundred participants, equally divided by gender and race, between 18 and 30 years old were enrolled. Dry eye symptoms were investigated by the ocular surface disease index (OSDI), tear thinning time (TTT), tear breakup time (TBUT) and Schirmer’s 2 in that sequence on both eyes of each participant.

Results: The OSDI revealed that 41% of participants had some dry eye symptoms whilst 59% had no symptoms. Clinical testing showed that 81% of participants had dry eye. Half of the black participants had dry eye symptoms and 82% had clinical signs of dry eye. Of the 50 Indian participants, 32% had dry eye symptoms and 80% had clinical signs. Of the 50 male participants, 34% were symptomatic and 86% had clinical signs. Of the 50 female participants, 48% had dry eye symptoms and 76% had clinical signs. Participants were asymptomatic even in the presence of clinical dry eye signs.

Conclusion: For both races and genders, clinical signs of dry eye were more common than symptoms. Black participants were more likely to report symptoms than Indians, and more women than men reported having symptoms. Male participants were more likely than female to have clinical signs of dry eye.


Keywords

Dry eye; tear thinning time; tear break-up time; Schirmer test; OSDI

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