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Ovarian Failure Linked to Dry Eye

Premature shutdown of sex organs leaves women prone to poor tear production

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Women whose ovaries prematurely stop working -- a condition called premature ovary failure (POF) -- may face a greater risk for dry eye.

That's the claim of a National Eye Institute study in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

POF occurs when ovaries cease their normal function in women under age 40. POF symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue and mood swings. Women with POF have an increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

Women with POF also have androgen deficiency (low levels of the male hormone androgen), a condition associated with dry eye, the result of reduced tear production and poor tear quality.

This study included 65 women with POF and 36 women without POF. It found 20 percent of the women with POF met dry eye diagnostic criteria, compared with 3 percent of those without POF.

Women with POF were more likely than the other women to have ocular surface damage and symptoms of dry eye.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about dry eye syndrome.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Feb. 9, 2004
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