The Dry Eye Zone

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Study: Is there a relationship between eye pain and systemic pain?

Analysis of the association between the severity of ocular and systemic pain. Yamanishi et al, Ocul Surf, 2019 May 29.



To evaluate the relationship between the severity of ocular and systemic pain.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in patients with ocular pain symptoms who were observed in Keio University Hospital between April 2017 and September 2018. Evaluations consisted of the Dry Eye-Related Quality of Life Score (DEQS), Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), visual analog scale (VAS), and ophthalmologic examination, including tear breakup time measurement and Schirmer I test. The revised Asia Dry Eye Society Dry Eye Disease (DED) diagnostic criteria were used.


The present study involved 41 participants (31 women; mean age, 57.6 ± 17.5 years). Thirteen participants had aqueous-deficient DED, 18 participants had short tear break-up time DED, and 10 participants had no DED. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that the DEQS was significantly associated with both the SF-MPQ total (Coefficient score β = 0.92, p < 0.01) and the VAS (β = 0.25, p = 0.01). In addition, correlation analysis revealed that the DEQS had a significant positive linear correlation with both the SF-MPQ total (Spearman correlation score rs = 0.70, p < 0.01) and the VAS (rs = 0.66, p < 0.01).


The findings of the present study suggested that the ocular pain score was significantly associated with systemic pain score. Participants with higher systemic pain scores have an increased risk of having ocular pain.