Dry eye disease is common among outdoor street sweepers than
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This study aims to assess the prevalence of dry eye disease (DED) amongst Street sweepers and Office cleaners in Calabar metropolis.

Occupational predisposition to dry eye disease is known. Simultaneous exposure to multiple factors may pose more risk. Street sweepers are exposed to sunlight in addition to dust which all sweepers are exposed to. Tropical climate predisposes to significant exposure to sunlight. Combined exposure to dust and sunlight may lead to a synergy of factors.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among street sweepers and office cleaners. A systematic random sampling and multi-stage sampling method were used to select street sweepers (n=115) and office cleaners (n=115) respectively for the study. A pretested semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information after which the respondents had an ophthalmic examination. An assessment of DED was done with Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, Schirmer’s test, and tear break up time (TBUT). OSDI scores of 33 and above; Schirmer’s test readings of more than 10 mm wetting in 5 min and a TBUT of less than 10s in either eye were considered as positive dry eye disease.

--The majority of respondents were females 215 compared to males 15. The overall mean age of respondents was 40.96±9.8 years. The average OSDI score, Schirmer’s test as well as TBUT among participants was 26.4±16.0, 16.44±9.52 mm, and 12.38±4.53s respectively.

--The prevalence of DED among Street sweepers was 35.7% compared to 20% among office cleaners using the OSDI questionnaire.

--The prevalence of DED among street sweepers was 32.2% compared to 30.4% among Office cleaners using the Schirmer’s test.

--The TBUT reported a prevalence of 38.3% of DED among Street sweepers compared to 32.2% in office cleaners.

--Overall; the prevalence of dry eye disease among Street sweepers and office cleaners using OSDI score, Schirmers test, as well as TBUT were not statistically significant.

--Street Sweepers had higher odds of developing dry eye disease compared to office cleaners. Negative correlation coefficient was observed between TBUT and OSDI.

Subsequently, street sweepers had a higher prevalence than office cleaners of dry eye disease because of the increased risk of exposure to environmental elements such as dust, smoke or sunlight. The result may be a synergy of elements.

Source: https://bmcophthalmol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12886-021-02025-y