The objective of this study was to examine the effects of alopecia areata (AA) on the ocular surface and conjunctival cytology.
A total of 48 subjects were included in the present study. Twenty-three subjects were assigned to group 1 as the patient group, and 25 healthy individuals were included in group 2 as the control group. The ocular surface examination was performed, and the right eyes of all participants were included in the analysis. Both groups underwent the following tests for evaluation of ocular surface: tear break-up time (TBUT), Schirmer I test, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), and conjunctival impression cytology (CIC). Results obtained from the tests were then analyzed and compared between the groups.
The mean TBUT value was significantly lower in Group 1 compared to Group 2 (4.96 ± 3.4 vs 10.52 ± 4.8 s) (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between Group 1 and Group 2 in terms of the mean Schirmer I test score (p = 0.129). The mean OSDI score was higher in Group 1 compared to Group 2 (15.48 ± 10.4 vs 9.61 ± 13.4), but the difference between both groups was not statistically significant (p = 0.1). The mean CIC score was statistically significantly higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (1.65 ± 0.7 vs 0.52 ± 0.5) (p < 0.001).
The results of this study showed that AA was correlated with significant disturbances in conjunctival cytology and the tear function.

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.