Associations between subjective happiness and dry eye disease: A new perspective from the Osaka study

Motoko Kawashima, Miki Uchino, Norihiko Yokoi, Yuichi Uchino, Murat Dogru, Aoi Komuro, Yukiko Sonomura, Hiroaki Kato, Shigeru Kinoshita, Masaru Mimura, Kazuo Tsubota

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Importance: Dry eye disease has become an important health problem. A lack of concordance between self-reported symptoms and the outcome of dry eye examinations has raised questions about dry eye disease. Objective: To explore the association between subjective happiness and objective and subjective symptoms of dry eye disease. Design: The study adopted a cross-sectional design. Setting: All the employees of a company in Osaka, Japan. Participants: 672 Japanese office workers using Visual Display Terminals (age range: 26-64 years). Methods: The dry eye measurement tools included the Schirmer test, conjunctivocorneal staining, the tear film break-up time, as well as the administration of a dry eye symptoms questionnaire. Happiness was measured by the Subjective Happiness Scale. Main Outcome Measures: Dry eye examination parameters, dry eye symptoms questionnaires, and the Subjective Happiness Scale score. Results: Of the 672 workers, 561 (83.5%) completed the questionnaires and examinations. The mean Subjective Happiness Scale score was 4.91 (SD = 1.01). This score was inversely correlated with the dry eye symptom score (r = -0.188, p <0.001), but was not associated with objective findings which include conjunctivocorneal staining, low Schirmer test score, or low tear film break-up time. The level of subjective happiness was the lowest in the group without objective results, but reported subjective symptoms of dry eyes (p <0.05). Conclusions and Relevance: There is evidence of the relationship between subjective happiness and self-reported symptoms of dry eyes. Findings of this study revealed a new perspective on dry eye disease, including the potential for innovative treatments of a specific population with dry eye disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123299
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Kawashima, M., Uchino, M., Yokoi, N., Uchino, Y., Dogru, M., Komuro, A., Sonomura, Y., Kato, H., Kinoshita, S., Mimura, M., & Tsubota, K. (2015). Associations between subjective happiness and dry eye disease: A new perspective from the Osaka study. PLoS One, 10(4), [e0123299].