Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology

Dry Eye In Welders Of Puducherry: A Rising Occupational Hazard

Muthukrishnan Vallinayagam, Rathna Kumar, Baba Durairaj, Sasidharan Adiyapatham, Thamizharasu Ravi
Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute Of Medical Sciences And Research Institute, Puducherry, India

Editor-in-Chief, Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology, Dr R.P.Centre, AIIMS.

Corresponding Author:

Muthukrishnan Vallinayagam MS, DNB, FRCS, FICO
Assistant Professor, 
Department of Ophthalmology, 
Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of 
Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India
Email Id: 

Received: 10-JUL-2017 Accepted: 27-OCT-2017 Published Online: 01-MAR-2018

Background:- Dry eye is an ocular surface disorder. It is an occupational hazard in welders and significantly affects the quality of life. Early diagnosis is imperative as it is potentially treatable. Awareness about regular ophthalmic evaluation and use of personal protective Equipments (PPE) would be beneficial in reducing ocular morbidity. Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of dry eye in welders of Puducherry. 

Materials and Methods:- A cross-sectional study was conducted with 200 welders from Puducherry. They were examined for the presence of dry eye using Schirmer’s test, and dry eye was graded based on the severity. Comparison of two proportions was employed and Chi–square test was used to detect the association between variables.

Results:- The prevalence of dry eye in welders was observed to be 42.5%. While 32.94% of welders with bilateral dry eye showed similar grades of severity in both eyes, 27.06% displayed varying levels of severity. Dry eye was noted only in the right eye in 23.53% welders and only in the left eye in 16.47%. There was a significant correlation between the prevalence of dry eye and the duration (in years) of exposure to welding (X2=6.78, p= 0.034). Furthermore, the study demonstrates a significant association between dry eye and working hours (per day) in two different study groups (<9 hrs and = 9 hrs) (Z=6.3, P=0.0001). 

Conclusion:- Prevalence of dry eye in welders is considerably high. The impact of dry eye on the quality of life should not be underestimated. Dry eye in welders is an important occupational hazard which requires prompt treatment, to reduce the ocular morbidity and improve the quality of life. A recommendation from this study would be to educate the welders and create awareness and to prevent this occupational disease by implementing regular usage of personal protective equipments.

Keywords :dry eye, welders, occupational hazard, Schirmer’s test