Objective: To determine prevalence and ocular findings of dry eye syndrome in adult diabetic patients at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Kenya.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study that was carried out among diabetic patients attending diabetic outpatient clinic and diabetic eye clinic at the KNH during October 2013-May 2014. All diabetic patients aged 18 years and over were requested to participate. Data on demographic profile, symptomatology, duration of diabetes and medication use of participants was documented. They were subsequently examined and underwent non-invasive tests to determine presence of dry eye syndrome (DES). Data collected was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 21.0. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, tables, mode, median and mean were used to summarize the data. Relationship between frequency, presence of dry eye syndrome and age, sex, duration of diabetes was assessed.
Results: Prevalence of DES was 49.8% (CI 0.001-0.568), was more common among females (M:F 1:2.2) and increased with age (p=0.001, peak age 56-65 years) and duration of diabetes (p=0.000454, peak duration after 15-19 years). There was significant association between DES and symptomatology (p<0.00001) , but not between DES and ocular signs (p=0.81) nor DES and TBUT (P=0.082) nor DES and Schirmer test (p=0.454).
Conclusion and recommendation: There is high prevalence of DES among diabetics. Greater emphasis should be placed on symptoms when making a diagnosis of DES.