To determine age
-related changes of tear menisci in healthy subjects and to compare tear variables between age
-matched normals and dry eye subjects.
Anterior segment optical coherence tomography
was used to measure upper and lower tear menisci in healthy subjects (n = 197, 8–83 years) and in age
-matched dry eye patients (n = 38, 19–72 years). Measured tear variables included the height and area of the tear meniscus. Tear meniscus volumes were calculated based on the cross-sectional areas of the tear menisci and the eyelid lengths. The age
-related decrease rates of the tear menisci were also calculated.
There were significant negative correlations between age
and all tear meniscus dimensions (r ranged from −0.649 to −0.753; p < 0.05) in the healthy group. The rate of decrease for the total tear meniscus volume
in healthy subjects was 1.0% per year. Compared with age
-matched healthy subjects, the height, cross-sectional area, and volume of the upper and lower tear menisci in dry eye subjects were significantly smaller (p < 0.05).
Tear menisci decreased with age
in the healthy group. The variables in age
-matched dry eye subjects were significantly lower than those in the healthy group.