Researchers establish link between dry eye disease and dehydration

October 5, 2012, Bangor University

Dry eye disease (DED) is a condition which can cause extreme discomfort and lead to eye damage.  While difficult to establish the full costs of this condition to healthcare and society in the UK, it is estimated that current prescription treatments such as eye drops cost the NHS £32 million per year (in England alone).  Because many individuals suffering from DED self-treat by buying over-the-counter medications (e.g. artificial tears) the true cost of DED is likely to be significantly higher. This new link suggests that ensuring DED sufferers are fully hydrated could alleviate DED symptoms.

Prof. Neil Walsh of the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences explained:  "We've been researching hydration in a number of groups of individuals, from athletes to the military. Having proven that a test for disease was effective in assessing hydration in normal healthy participants, it was a small step to turn the research on its head and wonder whether hydration was involved in dry eye disease. We were surprised to realise that no published research had investigated any connection between dry eye disease and hydration."

"From our work so far, we believe that hydration is involved in dry eye disease and believe that increasing fluid intake might reduce symptoms in patients with dry ."

A small scale trial with older in-patients at a hospital, who were admitted for other conditions but also had DED, showed that ensuring good hydration can ease the condition. There is now scope to extend this research and offer a cost effective means of reducing this uncomfortable and potentially damaging condition.

Getting older is often listed as one of the factors leading to DED. It is hardly surprising then, that this condition is most prevalent among older people, as older people are also often susceptible to being dehydrated. They often have medical conditions where the side effects of the medicines they take may lead to and DE.

Explore further: Scientists 'see' the early cellular cause of dry eye disease for the first time

Related Stories

Scientists 'see' the early cellular cause of dry eye disease for the first time

May 31, 2011
If you are one of the millions of people around the world who struggle with dry eye disease, good news is on the way. A new research discovery published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology offers hope for new drugs that treat ...

Caffeine use may offer relief for millions of dry eye sufferers

April 17, 2012
Researchers at the University of Tokyo's School of Medicine have shown for the first time that caffeine intake can significantly increase the eye's ability to produce tears, a finding that could improve treatment of dry eye ...

Recommended for you

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

Flu shot only 36 percent effective, making bad year worse (Update)

February 15, 2018
The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting older Americans and others against the bug that's causing most illnesses.

IFN-mediated immunity to influenza A virus infection influenced by RIPK3 protein

February 15, 2018
Each year, influenza kills half a million people globally with the elderly and very young most often the victims. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 children have died in the United States ...

A new class of drug to treat herpes simplex virus-1 infection

February 14, 2018
For patients with the herpes simplex-1 virus (HSV-1), there are just a handful of drugs available to treat the painful condition that can affect the eyes, mouth and genitals.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.