Among other factors, high pollution levels and the over-use of computer monitors have placed China above all other countries among the eight major markets (8MM: the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan and China) in terms of the number of total prevalent cases of dry eye syndrome (DES) in 2016, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
Also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, DES is a common multifactorial condition of the eye caused by decreased tear production or an increased rate of tear film evaporation. GlobalDataepidemiologists forecast that the total prevalent cases of DES in the 8MM will increase at an annual growth rate of 0.70% from 268 million cases in 2016 to 286 million cases by 2026.
In 2016, China had the highest number of total prevalent cases of DES with 194 million cases, followed by the US with 23 million cases.
Although the exact cause of the prevalence of DES in China is not yet clearly understood, researchers have speculated that pollution levels and the over-use of computer monitors play vital roles in the problem. China is the world’s deadliest country for outdoor air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.
Qaisrah Khalid, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Air pollution is especially common in places like Beijing, where it is found in the form of smog, which can be incredibly harmful to the eyes. DES is also associated with diabetes. The diabetes epidemic in China is thought to have edged ahead of India, making China the country with the highest population of diabetes in the world. This in turn contributes to the high number of people suffering from DES in China.”