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Colleen Heckley, John David Rodriguez, Endri Angjeli, Keith Jeffrey Lane, George W Ousler; Investigation of diurnal blink patterns using a continuous blink tracking device in soft contact lens wearers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):6062.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate diurnal blink patterns in contact lens wearers in various environmental conditions.
A wearable continuous blink tracking telemetric device was used to record electromyograms corresponding to activity of the orbicularis oculi muscle. Four contact lens wearers were tracked over a period of six days (6-14 hours per day). The first four days (Visits 1-4) consisted of continuous blink recording while wearing each of the following: 1) spectacles; 2) habitual lenses; 3) soft extended wear lens A; and 4) soft extended wear lens B. On the final two days (Visits 5 and 6), the effect of exposure to the controlled adverse environment (CAESM) wearing lenses A and B at separate visits was investigated. Blink rate, as measured by interblink interval (IBI), was the primary outcome variable.
Mean diurnal IBI was 3.671 (SD 3.94) seconds during lens wear vs 5.095 (SD 5.573) seconds during spectacle wear (p<0.0001). Under non-stressed conditions, there was no difference (p=0.54) in diurnal IBI wearing lens A (IBI: 3.941, SD 4.005 seconds) versus lens B (IBI: 3.932, SD 4.061 seconds). Mean diurnal IBI for lens B (3.62, SD 1.06) decreased significantly (p=0.028) during CAESM challenge. Mean symptom score during the CAESM was 1.02 on a scale of 0 to 4 (0 being none and 4 being worst discomfort) for lens B vs 0.408 for lens A (p=0.073). For both lenses, IBI and symptoms were significantly correlated during CAESM exposure (Spearman coefficients: lens A, -0.3378, p = 0.0037; lens B: -0.5055, p < 0.0001).
Mean diurnal IBI during spectacle wear was significantly longer than when wearing contact lenses. Mean diurnal IBI during the CAESM was significantly shorter with lens B compared to lens A. This was associated with higher discomfort scores, and a significant correlation between IBI and symptoms. This continuous blink tracking device provides a sensitive method for high-throughput screening of different lens materials and designs by monitoring diurnal blink patterns, comfort, and compensatory responses during a challenge in adverse environmental conditions.
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