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M. Carmen Acosta, Maxine E. Tan, Carlos Belmonte, Juana Gallar; Sensations Evoked by Selective Mechanical, Chemical, and Thermal Stimulation of the Conjunctiva and Cornea. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(9):2063-2067.
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purpose. To study the sensations evoked by selective mechanical, chemical, and
thermal stimulation of the conjunctiva and compare them with those
elicited by similar stimulation of the cornea.
methods. Six young subjects participated in the study. Using a gas
esthesiometer, selective mechanical (air puffs at flows from 0 to 264
ml/min), chemical (0–80% CO2 in air), and thermal (air at
temperatures from −10°C to +80°C) stimulation was performed on the
center of the cornea and on the temporal conjunctiva. The intensity,
degree of irritation, stinging and burning pain components, and thermal
characteristics of the evoked sensation were evaluated after each
stimulus in separate, 10-cm continuous visual analogue scales (VASs).
The ability of the subjects to identify the quality of the stimulus
applied to the cornea and the conjunctiva was also studied.
results. The subjective intensity and thermal components (cooling or warming) of
the sensation reported after mechanical, chemical, and heat stimulation
were similar in the conjunctiva and cornea, although lower VAS scores
were always reported in the conjunctiva for the irritation and the
stinging and burning pain components. In the cornea, stimulation with
low temperatures was perceived as a cooling sensation with an
irritative component. In the conjunctiva, cooling was perceived as a
purely cold sensation. Subjects showed similar discrimination
capability in the cornea and the conjunctiva for the various types of
conclusions. Sensations evoked in the cornea by selective mechanical, chemical, and
heat and cold stimulation always presented an irritation component. In
the conjunctiva, stimuli of the same intensity are always perceived as
less irritating than in the cornea. Cold and other non-noxious
subqualities of sensation can be evoked in the
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