The relationship between diet and tear analysis in routine optometric practice

  • Sheeraz Janjua

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate


Dry eye syndrome is a common condition, regarded as a tear film abnormality which increases with age and causes symptoms such as dryness, irritation and grittiness. Its occurrence is often related to other health conditions such as diabetes.

Current treatments deal with the management of the tear film, and the conventional and common approach is instillation of lubricating eye drops or tear substitutes. These topical treatments generally treat the symptoms but are unable to resolve the underlying causes. It is therefore important to investigate the development of prevention strategies, and to investigate potential relationships between dietary factors and signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome
This thesis set out to investigate the relationships that might exist between dietary factors and signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Two hundred participants were recruited from the patient base of an optometric practice in North Lincolnshire. An initial health and lifestyle questionnaire and food recall diary were completed by all participants. Results from an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and from clinical assessments made by the researcher were used as outcome measures.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between diet and the results were from clinical assessment of the tear film in routine optometric practice. Data was collected and statistical analysis was carried out on the results obtained. The findings were:

♦ There was a significant difference in OSDI score between males and females, showing that females had significantly higher OSDI scores than males.
♦ Those participants who consumed nuts had a significantly lower OSDI score, a significantly higher tear meniscus height (TMH), and significantly higher non-invasive tear break-up time (NITBUT) and Tear Break-Up Time (TBUT) than those who did not.
♦ Participants who consumed oily fish had a significantly higher TMH than those who did not.
♦ High OSDI scores were found to be significantly associated with lower consumption of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), carbohydrate and calories.

Date of Award8 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHannah Bartlett (Supervisor)


  • clinical assessment
  • dry eye syndrome
  • essential fatty acids
  • nutrition
  • OSDI

Cite this