Changes in dry eye after the Great East Japan Earthquake

Shunichiro Asano, Hisayo Kubota, Hiroshi Kunikata, Naoto Imadome, Toru Nakazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To report changes in clinical features of dry eye syndrome in persons who were forced to live in temporary housing after their houses were destroyed by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Cases and Method: This study was made on 30 patients who had been treated for dry eye before the earthquake at the Kesennuma City Hospital. These 30 cases were randomly selected and comprised 4 males and 26 females. The age averaged 71.9±9.9 years. They were followed up for 26 months after the earthquake. Results: Subjective symptoms became worse in 17 cases (57%) and remained unchanged in 13 cases (43%). Out of these 17 cases, 8 cases complained of dry eye sensation, 6 cases reported pain of the eye, 2 cases reported haziness, and one cases showed increase in lacrimation. Subjective symptoms became worse within 6 months after the Earthquake in 3 cases, 6 to 12 months in 9 cases, and after 12 months in 5 cases. They were treated by the same topical medication as before in 41%, by adding another eyedrop in 47%, and adding two medications in 12%. All the 10 cases who received additional medication received diquafosol sodium. Symptoms improved in 6 cases and remained unchanged in 4 cases. Conclusion: Mental trauma and environmental stress seemed to be major causes for progression of symptoms after the Earthquake. Dry eye appeared to result in manifestations of symptoms related to sensation of pain after the time lag of a few months after the disaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1289
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept


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