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Is is common to have chronic dry eye with no symptoms?

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  • Is is common to have chronic dry eye with no symptoms?

    I'm new here and want to thank all of you on here for giving out all of the information you do.

    I've been recently told that I need to start using Restasis for dry eye and that plugs could be in my future. After pouring over much of the information here, I really don't know why. I've never really had the symptoms. My eyes don't hurt or itch, they don't normally feel tired and I don't have to use drops. I never feel the need to use drops.

    The only things I can think of are two that I was told years ago. I was told my lids don't close all the way - which is causing me to not lubricate my eyes, and I had the Schirmer test done which the doctor told me showed my eyes are too dry and I should not wear contacts. Other than that, I've had two allergies in my eyes that required drops. That was all 8 years ago when I was 18 years old.

    Fast forward and my eye doctors have told me I have a problem with dry eye year after year, but I never felt it. My last visit is when my doctor told me I need to start using Restasis to see if it will help dry eye. I told her I don't have any symptoms and she said that my eyes are chronically dry.

    I don't get. How common is it to be told you have chronic dry eye and not have any symptoms? Maybe I do and just ignore them, but I don't have symptoms like I have read from all of you. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    This sounds very peculiar to me. The best advice I can give you is to get yourself checked out by a highly sought after ophthalmologist. It might cost you some money, but the amount of money you will spend on restasis and other treatments over the years will quickly add up to the money you may potentially save.

    By the way, when your lids don't close properly the formal name for the condition is lagophthalmos.


    • #3
      There is well-respected dry eye researcher and doctor in Miami, FLA. His name is Scheffer Tseng (

      In Oct 2011, he published a paper in the journal Cornea. He talks about dry eye without symptoms. He writes:

      Of these 5 dysfunctional elements, the poor ocular sensitivity because of neurotrophic state is most unique and difficult to diagnose because these patients tend to have disproportionally fewer symptoms relative to their abnormal signs. The neurotrophic state results in the worst form of dry eye by dampening the V1 sensory input, thus invariably abolishing both reflexes controlling compositional and hydrodynamic factors. Because there are disproportionally fewer irritative symptoms, grading of symptoms using a questionnaire alone will surely fail to predict the severity of dry eye caused by such a dysfunctional element. It is thus advised to be suspicious of neurotrophic state whenever a patient presents with disproportionally fewer symptoms than signs.
      It sounds to me like what you have is very serious and shouldn't be taken lightly.


      • #4
        Hi Jessica,
        In 1982, the eye doctor told me I had dry eyes, and when Restasis became available, I started using that. About seven years ago, the doctor also added TheraTears Nutrition (fish oil and more) to the regimen. My eyes rarely bothered me, until two years ago when they became extremely dry and very uncomfortable. Like you, I did not understand what the doctors were talking about because the symptoms began as unnoticeable. From my personal experience, it is quite possible that as you age, your eyes will become drier, and it might be a good idea to do what is necessary to protect them now. Best of luck to you.