The type of job you do may reflect your dry eye risk, especially if you work indoors, a study in The Ocular Surface reports.

Since environmental factors have been previously tied to dry eye, a team of European researchers conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the potential link between occupations and dry eye. Using the Netherlands population-based Lifelines cohort study, they analyzed records of 40,501 employees who worked eight or more hours a week to determine the association between symptomatic dry eye and occupation.

Professionals and clerical support workers had the highest risk of dry eye out of the 10 major occupation groups included in the investigation, the study noted. People who worked in the agricultural industry and those employed in elementary occupations, such as cleaners, had the lowest risk of dry eye. After additional correction for 45 dry eye–associated comorbidities, researchers found professionals and clerical support workers no longer had an increased risk, whereas craft and related trade employees, such as building and metal and machinery workers, exhibited the highest risk of dry eye.

“This study underlines the importance of asking about type of occupation in dry eye patients,” the researchers said in their paper.

Those who are employed in high-risk occupations, including employees who work inside and log long hours in front of a computer, should be screened for symptomatic dry eye from an occupational health and work productivity perspective, the study suggested.

The lower risk of dry eye in outdoor and active occupations is intriguing and justifies future studies to investigate potential protective and treatment effects, researchers added.

Bazeer S, Jansonius N, Snieder H, et al. The relationship between occupation and dry eye. Ocul Surf. April 2, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].