Association between retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and eye fatigue

Masahiko Ayaki, Manami Kuze, Mineo Kondo, Kazuo Tsubota, Kazuno Negishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Eye fatigue is a common health problem across all age groups. Herein, we explored the correlation between eye fatigue and thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (NFL). Included in the NFL are intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which are associated with trigeminal pain. This retrospective cross-sectional study included outpatients with best-corrected visual acuity above 20/30 in both eyes and without dry eye, glaucoma, or retinal disease. A total of 1981 patients were initially enrolled and 377 patients were declared as eligible for the study analysis. We tested subjects for the presence of major ocular symptoms and measured thickness of ganglion cell complex (GCC) using optical coherence tomography. A total of 377 outpatients (46.4% men, mean age of 57.1 years) were enrolled for analysis, based on the interview-reported prevalence of six eye symptom, as follows: 31.5% for eye fatigue, 19.2% for blurring, 18.6% for dryness, 15.7% for photophobia, 13.5% for irritation, and 4.6% for pain. The macular GCC was significantly thicker in subjects with eye fatigue compared to the group not reporting eye fatigue (103.8 μm versus 100.3 μm, P = 0.014). Regression analysis identified eye fatigue (P = 0.026, β=0.122, adjusted for age and sex) and dryness (P =0.024, β=0.130) as significantly correlated with the macular GCC thickness, while the full macular thickness showed no significant correlation. In conclusions, eye fatigue and dryness were positively associated with thickness of the macular GCC. Nonvisual symptoms might therefore play a role in the development of eye fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3014567
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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