Hormone influence on tear function: The role of prolactin, testosterone, estrooen and FSH after menopause

W. D. Mathers, J. A. Lane, B. Zimmerman, D. Stoval, J. E. Sutphin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Dry eye may be the result of a decline in hormonal support of lacrimal function which occurs in menopause. We investigated a series of normal women of menopause age to evaluate the relationship between hormone level and tear function. Methods: We investigated 113 women ages 35-60 recruited as normals for this menopause study. Patients were tested for tear function using osmolarity, Schirmer without anesthesia, flaorescein decay, tear volume and tear flow. Subjects were also tested for total testosterone, prolactin level, FSH and estrogen. Results: Thirty-five percent of this group had some symptoms of dry eye. There was no difference between their tear function. 24% were taking estrogen and/or a progesterone replacemerts. For the sub group with FSH >40 (n=34) with and without hormone replacement therapy, we found a significant correlation between prolactin level and tear osmolarity (p=0.017), tear volume (p=0.040), and tear flow (p=0.039). For parents with FSH > 40 not on hormone replacement n=22, there was also a correlation between total testosterone and tear volume, (p=0.039). These correlation we-t not found in the whole group of menopause subjects. Conclusion; This is the first demonstration of a significant correlation between hormone levels and tear function in humans and suggests an active role for both prolactin and testosterone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S213
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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