Specialist report: Dry eye disease and aging

M.M.A. van Tilborg, H.S.M. Kort, P.J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The common ocular pathologies relating to the aging eye, such as cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, are all known to reduce visual functioning. Less wellknown is the effect of common, age-related dry eye disease (DED). The impact of DED on daily activities can be intense, especially with reduced visual functioning, for example, an inability to watch television, or read from a tablet or smartphone screen. As a result of reduced visual functioning, DED is particularly problematic for ageing office-workers. Moreover, office work involving computer-use is known to adversely affect the tear film. Consequently, with the extension in retirement age in the working population, an increase in the incidence and extent of (dry) eye-related problems can be expected. This literature paper addresses the impact of age-related DED on visual functioning, the complexity of assessing visual functioning in daily activities at home or at work, the development of dry eye symptoms with increasing age, and the relationship of these issues with environmental factors. Special attention is made to the influence of light and light conditions that can positively and negatively influence visual functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Aging eye
  • Dry eye
  • Light
  • Visual functioning


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