Office workers with prolonged digital device use may have a change in the makeup of their tear film, which is similar to that of an individual with dry eye disease (DED), according to a Japanese study recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
The study looked at the relationship between the concentration of mucin 5AC (MUC5AC) in an individual’s tear film, hours worked, and the frequency of ocular symptoms. Participants included 96 young and middle-aged Japanese office workers, who completed a survey on their work hours and the frequency with which they experienced ocular symptoms. DED was diagnosed as definite or probable, or it was not present, and then tear fluid was collected.
The study found that the concentration of MUC5AC was lower in those with definite DED (nine percent of participants) and in those with symptomatic eye strain. This discovery leads the study’s author to conclude that office workers with prolonged computer usage, those with increased frequency of eye strain, and those with DED have a lower MUC5AC concentration in their tear film.