Dry eye symptoms may not be dry eye.

study published in Eye showed that patients with fibromyalgia have increased corneal sensitivity.

The study details:
The study included 36 patients with fibromyalgia and 39 controls all without dry eye syndrome. They measured TBUT, Schirmer scores, and corneal sensation using a Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer (a handheld device that gauges the corneal sensitivity using a nylon microfilament). Subjective patient complaints were recorded using a dry eye questionnaire.

What did they find?
They found that TBUT and Schirmer scores were similar between all patients but corneal sensitivity was significantly increased in the fibromyalgia patients. This also correlated with increased symptoms on the dry eye questionnaire.

Why is this?
Because fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that can affect any part of the body, including the eyes.

How does this info relate clinically?
These patients may complain of symptoms similar to dry eye disease but lack the signs of dry eye. It’s important to recognize the source of the symptoms since fibromyalgia is treated differently than dry eye disease. A team approach that coordinates with neurology or pain specialists will likely benefit the patient. (via)

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