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Impact of seasonal variation in meteorological conditions on dry eye severity

Authors Dermer H, Galor A, Hackam AS, Mirsaeidi M, Kumar N

Received 28 July 2018

Accepted for publication 8 October 2018

Published 29 November 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 2471—2481

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S181637

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Harrison Dermer,1 Anat Galor,2,3 Abigail S Hackam,3 Mehdi Mirsaeidi,2–4 Naresh Kumar5

1Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA; 2Eye Care (Ophthalmology), Miami Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA; 3Ophthalmology Department, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL, USA; 4Divison of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA; 5Public Health Sciences, Environmental Health Division, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Purpose: To compare dry eye (DE) diagnosis patterns by season in Miami vis-a-vis the US and examine differences in DE symptoms and signs by season in Miami.
Patients and methods: US veteran affairs (VA) patient visits with ICD-9 codes for DE (375.15) and routine medical examination (V70.0) from 2010 to 2013 were retrospectively analyzed to evaluate the seasonal pattern of DE diagnosis. A total of 365 patients with normal ocular anatomy were prospectively recruited from the Miami VA eye clinic from 2014 to 2016 for the assessment of symptoms and signs.
Results: While DE visit prevalence in Miami was about 10% lower than that of the rest of the country (22.5% vs 33.7%), Miami had roughly four times higher variability in DE visit prevalence throughout the year than the US. Peak values for DE symptoms in the Miami cohort aligned with peak DE prevalence seen in the retrospective sample, occurring in spring and fall. A similar, but less dramatic, pattern was noted with DE signs. The seasonal pattern in DE symptoms remained even after controlling for confounders including demographics and medication use.
Conclusion: DE symptoms, and to a lesser degree signs, varied by month, with the highest severity of symptoms occurring in spring and fall, which corresponded with peak allergy season and weather fluctuations, respectively. These findings have important implications for season-specific diagnosis, treatment, and management of DE.

Keywords:
seasonality, DE signs and symptoms, weather, pollen, United States, epidemiology

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