Read the Latest News

National Academy of Medicine to Conduct a Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

We want you to be among the first to know that because of the advocacy efforts of The TMJ Association, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will conduct a first-ever study on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).

Dentists in Distress

Fear of the dentist is practically a rite of passage in youth. Growing up, I wasn't exactly afraid of the dentist; rather, any excuse to leave school early was a powerful incentive. These days, I have a more complicated relationship with dentistry: I go to get answers and try to feel better, but I always pop a prophylactic ibuprofen or two in case my jaw protests from the oral gymnastics.

Patients in Los Angeles or New York City Needed for Clinical Study - Comparative Study of Women Considering or Currently Receiving Botox© Injections for TMJ Pain

Are you a woman with "TMJ" pain in facial muscles, who has either: a. recently had Botox© injections for your pain or b. not had Botox© for your pain but has thought about such treatment? If either is true for you, you may qualify for an observational research study centrally administered by the NYU College of Dentistry. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The purpose of this study is to understand potential health risks that may be caused by treating "TMJ pain" with Botox© injections.

Patients Front and Center at the 2018 TMJ Patient-Led RoundTable

It is still all too fresh in the minds of many patients. Fifty years ago, between the 1970s and 1980s, some 10,000 TMJ patients received Vitek jaw implant devices.

Funding Opportunities now available for the NIH Common Fund’s Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures program

The NIH Common Fund's Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures program aims to understand the biological characteristics underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain and what makes some people susceptible and others resilient to the development of chronic pain.

Dry Eye Linked to Chronic Overlapping Pain in Veteran Population

  • Feb 14, 2018

The following article appeared in MD Magazine, November 13, 2017

There may be a correlation between dry eye (DE) and chronic pain in the US military veteran population as is evident by a recent study.

In a retrospective review of Florida veteran's medical records between 2010 and 2014, researchers found an association between severe DE symptoms and non-ocular pain. They also found that individuals with chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPC) had more severe DE symptoms, but similar ocular surface signs.

The study, led by Charity J. Lee, from the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami, was presented at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO 2017) in New Orleans, LA.

Chronic pain, as defined by the researchers as a pain that persists beyond expected resolution - or about 3 months - is prevalent in 116 million US adults.

Lee explained that COPC is common among non-ocular conditions, including back pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia. DE, a multifactorial disease, affects about 15% of US citizens.

Of the approximate 3.2 million patients seen at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals between the studied years, DE was diagnosed in 959,881 (29.4%) patients. Another 854,480 (26.2%) were diagnosed with tear film dysfunction (TFD), and 186,299 (5.7%) were diagnosed with ocular pain. Less than 3% of patients had the latter 2 diagnoses together, Lee said.

Researchers also found that patients were more likely to be diagnosed with DE with the more chronic pain condition diagnoses they had. The 422 patients diagnosed with 13 or more chronic pain conditions had at least an 80% chance of being diagnosed with DE as well.

Ocular pain was most strongly associated with headaches, tension headaches, migraines, temporomandibular joint disorders, pelvic pain, central pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia in the veteran patient population, Lee said.

Lee proposed that sensations of dryness in some patients could be a local manifestation of a system-wide diagnosis of chronic pain. She also noted there are few treatment options for DE and multi-disciplinary chronic pain care patients.

Accordingly, panel members at AAO 2017 suggested the next course of research focus on possibly using systemic treatment for DE and COPC.

"Since they tend to coexist together, I think that broad treatment may definitely have an effect, not only with dry eye, but with the rest of the pain conditions that come along with it," Lee said. 

Overlapping Conditions


Login or Register to add Comment