Irritable bowel syndrome might be associated with dry eye disease
Background A possible association between dry eye disease (DED) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been hypothesized based on the fact that they both share an inflammatory pathogenesis.
Methods Ninety-five patients with IBS and 276 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. All patients answered a questionnaire regarding DED symptoms and had a complete ophthalmic examination. DED signs were evaluated using Schirmer's 1 and tear break-up time (tBUT) tests in both groups.
Results Female IBS participants presented significantly lower Schirmer's test and tBUT (P=0.002 and P<0.001 respectively) than controls. Both diagnostic tests in male IBS patients were also significantly lower than in controls (P<0.001). 72% of IBS patients gave at least 3 positive answers to the questionnaire compared with 42% of the control group (P<0.01).
Conclusion Our results suggest a correlation between IBS and DED. DED symptoms can cause further complications in patients with IBS, and should be considered in their management. However, further research is needed to establish a possible pathophysiologic association.
Keywords Dry eye, irritable bowel syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca
Ann Gastroenterol 2016; 29 (4): 487-491