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Andrew Kao, Robert Latkany; Use of Artificial Tears vs Cold Compresses for the Treatment of Dry Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):6052.
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The purpose of this study is to compare the use of artificial tears and cool compresses for the treatment of dry eye syndrome.
A total of 30 consecutive patients with dry eye were enrolled. Symptoms were evaluated using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score. The level of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), epithelial erosions, tear break-up time (TBUT), and Schirmer testing were recorded. The patients were randomized to two groups. One was instructed to use artificial tears 3 times per day for one month, then switch to cold compresses, 3 times a day for 30 seconds at a time, for one month. The OSDI score and clinical examination were re-evaluated at one and two month follow-up visits. The second group was given the same instructions, except that they started with cold compresses for the first month and switched to artificial tears for the second month. At the final visit patients were asked which treatment regimen they preferred.
Cold compresses were found to be a comparable treatment alternative to artificial tears for dry eye patients.
Cold compresses may be a viable alternative to artificial tears for dry eye patients. Many patients with chronic dry eyes have coexisting inflammatory conditions such as meibomian gland disease and allergic conjunctivitis that may be a source of their eye symptoms. Cold compresses appear to counter some of the inflammation. Additionally, they will be a more natural and less expensive alternative to over the counter treatment options.
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