Electroencephalogram-detected stress levels in the frontal lobe region of patients with dry eye

Minako Kaido, Reiko Arita, Yasue Mitsukura, Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate stress levels extracted from prefrontal electroencephalogram (EEG) signals and investigate their relationship with dry eye symptoms. Methods: This prospective, cross-sectional, comparative study included 25 eyes of 25 patients with aqueous tear-deficient dry eye (low Schirmer group), 25 eyes of 25 patients with short tear breakup time dry eye (short breakup time group), and 24 eyes of 24 individuals without dry eye. An EEG test, the Japanese version of the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), and a stress questionnaire were administered. EEG-detected stress levels were assessed under three conditions: eyes closed, eyes open, and eyes open under ocular surface anesthesia. Results: Stress levels were significantly lower when the eyes were closed than when they were open in all groups (all P < 0.05). Stress levels during eyes open under ocular surface anesthesia were significantly lower than those during eyes open without anesthesia only in the low Schirmer group; no differences were found between the short breakup time and control groups. OSDI scores were associated with EEG-detected stress levels (P = 0.06) and vital staining score (P < 0.05) in the low Schirmer group; they were not associated with EEG-detected stress (P > 0.05), but with subjective stress questionnaire scores and breakup time values in the short breakup time group (P < 0.05). Conclusions: In the low Schirmer group, peripheral nerve stimulation caused by ocular surface damage induced stress reactions in the frontal lobe, resulting in dry eye symptoms. Conversely, in the short breakup time group, the stress response in the frontal lobe was not related to symptom development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalOcular Surface
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Apr


  • Dry eye
  • Electroencephalography
  • Frontal lobe
  • Ocular surface disease index
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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