Sex hormones and dry eye disease: Current update

Review Article

Author Details : Rajendra Prakash Maurya*, Ashish Gupta, Shivani Verma, Virendra P Singh, Anup Singh, Vibha Singh, Meghna Roy, Lokesh Mehla, Rahul Kumar

Volume : 7, Issue : 2, Year : 2021

Article Page : 139-150

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Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disorder of the ocular surface that results in ocular discomfort, visual disturbance and damage to the ocular surface. It is one of the most common complaints in daily ophthalmic practice. The greater prevalence of dry eye in women compared to men suggests that sex hormones may have a role in this condition. Sex hormones; estrogen and androgens influence production of all components of the tear film including aqueous layer, lipid layer, and mucin layer. Various mechanisms such as decrease in hormonal levels, shift in feedback mechanisms, and changes in receptor receptivity interplay to alter the ocular surface homeostasis and subsequently result in DED. The purpose of this review is to briefly outline current scientific evidence on the influence of androgen and estrogen on the lacrimal and meibomian glands as well as on the ocular surface epithelia including conjunctival goblet cells during reproductive and menopausal periods. This article also outlines the updates regarding role of gonadal hormones in the treatment of dry eye.

Keywords: Dry Eye, Sex hormones, Estrogen, Androgen, Testosterone, Progesterone, Tear film, Meibomian gland, Lacrimal gland, Ocular surface, Menopause, HRT, Schirmer’s test.

How to cite : Maurya R P, Gupta A, Verma S, Singh V P, Singh A, Singh V, Roy M, Mehla L, Kumar R, Sex hormones and dry eye disease: Current update. IP Int J Ocul Oncol Oculoplasty 2021;7(2):139-150

Copyright © 2021 by author(s) and IP Int J Ocul Oncol Oculoplasty. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (

Article History

Received : 08-06-2021

Accepted : 14-06-2021

Available online : 27-07-2021

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