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J. Casavant, G.W. Ousler, III, K. Wilcox Hagberg, D. Welch, M.B. Abelson; A Correlation Between the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye and the Duration of Dry Eye Diagnosis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):4455.
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We have shown that dry eye patients respond to the Controlled Adverse Environment (CAE) by exhibiting symptoms only (19% of population), signs only (18% of population), or both symptoms and signs (63% of population). It has been hypothesized that these responses correlate with the stage of dry eye. For example, symptoms only patients may have early–stage dry eye; signs only patients may have late–stage dry eye; and symptoms and signs patients may have mid–stage dry eye. This study examined the relationship between a dry eye patient’s response to the CAE and the duration of their dry eye diagnosis.
Two–hundred and eighty–nine (289) patient eyes with a positive diagnosis of dry eye underwent baseline examinations consisting of a medical history, slit–lamp biomicroscopy, tear film break–up time and fluorescein staining. Patients were exposed to a CAE for 90 minutes, regulating humidity (< 10%), temperature (76 ± 6º F), airflow (non–turbulent), lighting conditions and visual tasking (watching a movie). Subjective evaluations of ocular discomfort were recorded using a standardized 0–4 scale during exposure. Upon exiting the CAE, the clinical signs were re–evaluated.
The following table shows a significant difference in the duration of a dry eye diagnosis between symptoms only and signs only dry eye patients (p < 0.0001).
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