Medical Mystery Who 'Cries Crystal Tears' Believed To Be 'Faking' Condition
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A woman who claimed she was in agony as a result of 'crying crystal tears' is now believed to have been faking the condition.
Satenik Kazaryan, from Spandaryan in Armenia, made international headlines after puzzling doctors, claiming she cried up to 50 of the painful jagged-edged tears a day.
It was initially thought she may have been suffering from a rare medical condition, however, the mother-of-one is now suspected to have put glass particles in her own eyes.
Detailed analysis of samples is still under way, but experts think Ms Kazaryan is suffering from Munchausen syndrome - a type of mental disorder which leads people to fake illness and self-harm, often as a means of gaining attention.
Ms Kazaryan and her mum-in-law Zemfira Mikaelya insist the glass tears are legit, however, Professor Anna Hovakimyan, of the Armenian Republican Ophthalmological Centre, is almost 100 percent sure that isn't the case.
She said: "The crystals look like ordinary glass. I am almost 100 percent sure that the patient suffers from Munchausen syndrome."
While it might seem obvious that Ms Kazaryan doesn't actually cry crystals, there is actually a rare genetic condition called Cystinosis - a metabolic condition caused by gene mutations - which could form crystal-like tears, according to Moscow's leading eye specialist Professor Dmitry Maichuk. However, he said it would take months for ones as large as Ms Kazaryan's to form - not hours.
He said: "In theory the formation of such a crystals is possible, but they should be smaller, and injure the eye."
Cystinosis is treatable, but Ms Kazaryan claimed her condition only got worse when she took the prescribed medication.
Her case was quite literally brought under the microscope when a team from Russian television station, NTV, went to visit her and collected a sample of her 'crystal tears' last month. The sample was subsequently examined by gemologist, Olga Radionova, who concluded the sample was 'simple glass'.
Speaking about how the 'crystal tears' began prior to the sample being examined, Ms Kazaryan said: "I was at the dentist, and it seemed dust got into my eyes. It hurt me. I went to the ophthalmologist, and a few crystals were taken out from my eyes.
"Now my every day has turned into hell.
"All the doctors are in shock. They have not encountered such a disease and do not know how to treat it. They have not even diagnosed it."
Armenian deputy health minister, Oganes Arutyunyan, said the woman's case was still being studied in order 'to figure out what is going on with the patient'.