Sleep disorders are a prevalent and serious comorbidity in dry eye

Masahiko Ayaki, Kazuo Tsubota, Motoko Kawashima, Taishiro Kishimoto, Masaru Mimura, Kazuno Negishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. Sleep is an essential life habit and closely associated with lifespan, diabetes, hypertension, and mental health. Sleep disorders are a prominent, but overlooked problem in patients with dry eye disease (DED), characterized by a poor sleep index, short sleep duration, long sleep latency, and poor subjective sleep. DED and sleep disorders are more prevalent in women than men. Moreover, sleep quality in DED is worse than in other eye diseases, including glaucoma, retinal diseases, cataract, and allergic and chronic conjunctivitis. METHODS. We reviewed the literature for studies investigating sleep and health, eyes and sleep, and DED and sleep, in terms of systemic and eye health, especially in women. RESULTS. Two studies reported that approximately half of patients with DED suffer from poor sleep. The severity of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression, is correlated strongly with sleep disorders in DED, and the symptoms and signs of DED, especially pain, also are correlated with sleep quality. Sleep disorders are documented in primary Sjögren’s syndrome and an association with sleep apnea and depression is suggested. Primary Sjögren’s syndrome includes arthritis and other rheumatic disease causing pain and fatigue; however, how sicca contributes to sleep disorders is not known. CONCLUSIONS. Possible explanations for sleep disorders in DED may be depression, pain, and eye exposure at night. Reciprocal effects may be expected and consultation-liaison psychiatry is recommended for the management of sleep disorders in DED. Topical medication and lid heating also may be advantageous for sleep quality in DED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)DES143-DES150
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number14 Special Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


  • Depression
  • Dry eye
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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