A recent study investigated a possible link between benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), since sex hormones are responsible for regulating multiple functions in the body, including the meibomian glands.

The study included 44 eyes of 44 men diagnosed with BPH receiving treatment with tamsulosin and an age-matched control group of 46 men at a single clinic in Japan. The researchers gathered Schirmer test values, ocular symptom scores and meibum-related scores, as well as male pattern baldness data.

Those with BPH had significantly higher meiboscores and significantly shorter tear break-up times than the control group. Schirmer test values were also significantly smaller in the BPH group than in the control group. The researchers found that the other ocular parameters didn’t differ significantly between groups. They noted that the proportion of men with androgenic alopecia was higher in the BPH group than in the control group.

The researchers concluded that BPH is associated with meibomian gland loss and tear film instability, as well as male pattern baldness.

Shimizu S, Arita R, Kawashima M, et al. Morphological changes of meibomian glands in men with benign prostate hyperplasia. J Cornea Ext Dis. August 19, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].