is that depression and severe dry eye can be connected, and patients and health care providers should know that.
Dry eye is very common, affecting around 16 million Americans, according to the U.S. National Eye Institute.
But the condition ranges widely in its severity: Many people have milder dry eye — from staring at computers all day, for example — and it can be managed with over-the-counter eye drops and frequent screen breaks.
Other people have severe symptoms, sometimes associated with certain autoimmune conditions, like Sjogren's syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
On the other hand," Zhou said, "there are studies suggesting that people with depression may have changes in how they perceive pain."
The findings are based on 535 dry eye patients enrolled in a clinical trial testing omega-3 fatty acid supplements for easing the condition.