When patient-reported symptoms of dry eye don’t align with measurable signs of ocular surface disease, the discordance is associated with comorbidities related to clinical pain and hyperalgesia, a new report suggests.
Previous studies have found poor correlations between dry-eye symptoms and signs, according to investigators. Some patients have “significant ocular surface damage” but minimal symptoms; others report “frequent severe symptoms without measurable clinical signs of disease.” Such common discrepancies impede diagnosis, interpretation of clinical tests, and treatment.
Broadly speaking, when dry-eye symptoms predominate over signs, nociceptive sensitization, such as hyperalgesia, is likely, corresponding author Dr. Anat Galor, of the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Florida, told Reuters Health by telephone. By contrast, she said, when signs predominate over symptoms, that’s often an indication of deterioration (typically age-related) of the cornea’s ability to perceive pain.