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    How chronic pain syndromes and dry eye are correlated

    A central disorder may be the cause of high ocular pain scores


    The patients were questioned about chronic pain that lasted for three or more months and included arthritis, burn pain, headaches, diabetic neuropathy, tendonitis, central pain syndrome, muscular pain, complex regional pain syndrome and/or causalgia, back pain, cancer pain, trigeminal neuralgia, sciatica, shingles, surgical pain, temporomandibular pain, and fibromyalgia.

    Patients were divided into two groups using cluster analyses:

    • cluster group 1, which was comprised of 57 patients with fewer chronic pain syndromes (mean, 2.5); and

    • cluster group 2, comprised of 97 patients with more chronic pains syndromes (mean, 6.2).

    All patients underwent analyses of the tear film that included determination of the tear osmolarity and tear film break-up time, corneal staining, use of Schirmer strips, and meibomian gland assessment.

    Patients completed questionnaires to quantify the severity and characteristics of ocular and non-ocular pain, mental health, and quality-of-life. Non-ocular pain was assessed by the numerical rating scale. Dry eye symptoms were assessed by the DEQ5 and Ocular Surface Disease Index and eye specific pain was assessed by the numerical rating scale, Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (modified for the eye) and McGill Short Form.

    The main outcome measures of the study were the frequency and severity of dry eye symptoms, mental health indices, and quality-of-life parameters between patients with few chronic pain syndromes and those with more chronic pain syndromes.


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