Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship among oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use, contact lens wear, and dry eye signs and symptoms in healthy young women.
Methods: Fifty-two women using OCPs and 45 women not using any form of hormonal contraception were enrolled. Medical, menstrual, and contact lens histories were obtained and dry eye symptoms assessed using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and Symptom Assessment iN Dry Eye (SANDE) questionnaires. Tear osmolarity testing was performed using the TearLab Osmolarity System.
Results: The mean age of all subjects was 26.0 ± 3.7 years. There were no significant differences in any of the measurements between the follicular and luteal phases. Although SANDE scores were significantly higher in subjects with OCP and recent contact lens use (P < 0.01), there were no significant differences in OSDI and tear osmolarity among the same subject groups. Subjects who reported both OCP and recent contact lens use had significantly higher OSDI and SANDE scores (P = 0.015 and P < 0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: There were no differences between the phases of the menstrual cycle. Tear osmolarity was not affected by OCP or contact lens use in young women. However, the combination of OCP use and contact lens wear may increase the severity of dry eye symptoms.