Depression May Be Connected to More Severe Dry Eye Disease: Study

According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, depression may be associated with more severe dry eyes disease and overall symptoms. Dry eye disease is a common condition that occurs when tears cannot provide enough lubrication for the eyes.

Tears are necessary for maintaining the eye’s health and for providing clear vision. Dry eyes can often be a chronic problem, particularly in older adults. When you blink, tears spread across the eye’s front surface, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, washing away any foreign matter, reducing the risk of eye infection, and keeping the eye’s surface smooth and clear.


People with dry eyes may experience irritated, scratchy, gritty, or burning eyes. It may also give a feeling of something in the eyes, blurred vision, and excess watering. There are many known causes and risk factors of dry eye disease, but this new study sheds light on a new possible association.

The study published online in JAMA Ophthalmology examined the association between depression and the severity of dry eye disease symptoms and signs. These included markers of inflammation in a secondary cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from the dry eye assessment and management study. This study involved patients with moderate to severe symptoms and signs of dry eye disease. There were a total of 535 patients who were followed for one year.

The study found that patients who screened positive for depression had worse dry eye disease symptoms. Participants’ dry eye disease was based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and Brief Ocular Discomfort Index. A lower Mental Component Summary Score indicated depression.

Study authors concluded the study by saying, “Identifying depression and considering treatment, including systemic medications, may be useful in managing patients with dry eye disease. Patients with more severe dry eye disease concerns or sign measurements may benefit from comorbid psychiatric screening.”


More research is needed to understand the connection between depression and dry eye disease. There is currently no evidence to suggest that depression leads to dry eye disease or vice versa.

Eye and Brain Health

Studies such as this draw attention to the importance of eye health in an aging population. Poor vision can significantly affect every aspect of daily life. So, it’s essential to help support strong and healthy vision as you age. 20/20 Vision contains a unique formula of important vitamins and nutrients to help protect macular health and maintain eyesight. Luetin and zeaxanthin are two of the ingredients that can help give the eyes the nutritional support they require.

As this study goes to show, eye health may be related to mental health. The Smart Pill contains nine ingredients to support, nourish, and maximize brain health and cognitive function. This doctor-recommended formula includes ginkgo biloba, huperzine A, bacopa extract, rosemary extract, and a B vitamin complex. These ingredients allow The Smart Pill to help boost circulation, fight free radicals and provide the nutritional support needed to assist in cognitive function.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.