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M.J. Gonzalez–Garcia, A. Gonzalez–Saiz, J.M. Herreras, B. de la Fuente, J. San José, J. Feijo, A. Mayo, M.E. Stern, M. Calonge; Environmental Chamber as a Diagnostic Tool for Marginal Dry Eye Sufferers . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):241.
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Adverse environmental conditions (excessive heat, wind, dryness) are known to elicit dry eye (DE)–related symptoms and signs. These environments are seen throughout the world. Additionally, millions of individuals are exposed to these conditions in artificially controlled environments (flights, air–conditioned or artificially heated rooms or vehicles); reading or computer use can further worsen those situations. To elucidate whether these adverse conditions can alter the ocular surface of normal to borderline people, young healthy persons, who were minimally and occasionally symptomatic were subjected to a controlled adverse environment (CAE).
Ten minimally symptomatic subjects (DE–related symptoms only with contact lens wear) were enrolled after 2 days of contact lens discontinuation. To rule out an established DE syndrome, at least 2 out of 4 DE tests had to be within normal limits. Subjects were first exposed to CAE (22.0 ± 2ºC, 19 ± 4% humidity, reading activity) in an environmental chamber for 2 hr. One month later, same individuals were exposed to "normal" environmental (NE) conditions (24.2 ± 1.3 ºC, 34.8 ± 2.9% humidity, reading activity) for 2 hr. Comfort and DE symptoms and signs were evaluated before (0 hr) and after (2 hr) CAE and NE exposure.
Significant differences before and after CAE exposure were found in comfort, NIBUT, bulbar and limbal hyperemia and phenol red thread test. After NE exposure a significant decrease in comfort was observed (table1).
Table 1: Symptoms and signs before (0 hr) and after (2 hr) of CAE and NE exposure.
Significant changes in comfort and ocular surface tests were found after 2 hr of exposure to CAE. Even during NE conditions, which only supposed a reading activity, subjects became less comfortable. These results show the impact that an adverse environment, specially a low relative humidity, can suppose for the ocular surface. Therefore, an environmental chamber can be a useful diagnostic tool to explore effectiveness of new ocular surface therapies.
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