As research continues to examine the overlap between dry eye and psychiatric diseases, investigators in Turkey recently evaluated the relationship between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and dry eye. The study revealed a significant association between the two based on tear film parameters and subjective dry eye symptoms.

The study assessed 30 patients with newly diagnosed OCD who were not using any psychiatric drug alongside 30 healthy controls. Of note was an increase in Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI, 34.8 vs. 20.8) and corneal staining scores along with a decrease in tear breakup time (TBUT, 9.1 vs. 12.9) and Schirmer test (15.7 vs. 18.8) in the patients with OCD compared with the normal controls. The researchers also noted that mean neutrophil-to-leukocyte ratio values were significantly higher in the OCD group compared with the controls (2.4 vs. 1.6).

Among the objective dry eye parameters, only TBUT was compatible with the diagnosis of dry eye, even if slightly below normal value in the study. Still, 73.3% of patients with OCD had moderate-to-severe ocular surface disease based on their responses to an OSDI questionnaire.

“Considering that there may be a progression in dry eye findings after psychiatric medication, we emphasize that patients with OCD should be evaluated for dry eye before the commencement of anti-psychiatric treatment and followed up in this respect,” the researchers concluded in their paper.

Eroglu FC, Gediz BS, Ozturk M, et al. Association between dry eye disease and newly diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cornea. April 9, 2021. [Epub ahead of print].