INTRODUCTION: This study was performed to evaluate the Schirmer II test (ST2) results, tear breakup time (TBUT) findings, and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores of pterygium patients under 30 years of age, and to compare the results with pterygium patients aged 30 years and older and healthy controls.
METHODS: Eighty-four eyes of 60 patients who had primary pterygium and were younger than 30 years of age (Group 1), 79 eyes of 53 patients who had primary pterygium and were 30 years of age and older (Group 2), and 64 eyes of 64 healthy controls (Group 3) were included in the study. The results of ST2 and TBUT tests and the OSDI questionnaire scores were recorded and compared.
RESULTS: Group 1 had lower TBUT values compared to Group 2 and the control group (p= 0.03 and p<0.001, respectively). Group 1 had lower ST2 values than the control group (p<0.001). There was no significant difference in the ST2 results between Group 1 and Group 2 (p=0.08). Group 1 had higher OSDI scores than the control group (p=0.003). There was no significant difference in the OSDI scores between Group 1 and Group 2 (p=0.7).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The results indicated that young patients with pterygium had lower ST2 results, lower TBUT values, and higher OSDI scores compared to the control group, and lower TBUT values compared to older patients with pterygium. Tear film abnormality may be a factor in the pterygium pathogenesis, especially in young patients, and may increase the vulnerability of the ocular surface of young people to environmental factors, leading to pterygium formation.