(HealthDay News) — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with dry eye and impaired tear function, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Pelin Yildirim, MD, from the Kocaeli Derince Training and Research Hospital in Turkey, and colleagues evaluated 50 premenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency (serum vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL) and 48 controls for dry eye parameters.

The researchers found that among patients with vitamin D deficiencies, lower scores in Schirmer’s test and tear break-up time test and higher in ocular surface disease index were seen compared with controls (P<.05). Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire scores showed no significant correlation with dry eye parameters (P>.05). 

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Vitamin D level was negatively correlated with ocular surface disease index (P<.001) and positively with Schirmer’s test (P=.001) and tear break-up time test scores (P=.029).

“Dry eye and impaired tear function in patients with vitamin D deficiency may indicate a protective role of vitamin D in the development of dry eye, probably by enhancing tear film parameters and reducing ocular surface inflammation,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Yildirim P, Garip Y, Karci AA, Guler T. Dry eye in vitamin D deficiency: more than an incidental association. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016;19(1):49-54.