Having found a link between dry eye and chronic pain syndromes, researchers suggest a multidisciplinary approach to treatment be undertaken.
In a study of 154 patients with dry eye from the Miami Veterans Affairs Hospital, higher levels of pain, both ocular and non-ocular, and lower depression scores and lower quality of life indices were consistent with a central sensitivity disorder in these patients, according to a press release from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“Traditionally, eye specialists have treated dry eye with artificial tears or topical medications for the surface of the cornea,” lead study author Anat Galor, MD, MSPH, of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute said in the release. “However, even if these treatments improve some dry eye symptoms, many patients continue to report underlying ocular and non-ocular pain.”
The researchers’ highest priority is to educate physicians “that dry eye represents an overlapping chronic pain condition,” Galor said in the release. “Consequently, a multidisciplinary approach should be considered in the diagnosis and pain management of dry eye patients.”