June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Migration of Substances Applied Around the Eyelid Margin
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christine Purslow
    School of Health Professions, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Clare Conaty
    School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Alison Ng
    School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Christine Purslow, None; Clare Conaty, None; Alison Ng, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 954. doi:
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      Christine Purslow, Clare Conaty, Alison Ng; Migration of Substances Applied Around the Eyelid Margin. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):954.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: Cosmetic products are commonly applied to and close to the eyelid margins. The primary aim of this study was to demonstrate the migration of products across the ocular muco-cutaneous junction and investigate the influence of the position of application on such migration.

Methods: The study composed of two parts. In Part 1, each eye of ten male subjects (23.1±3.5yrs) was randomly assigned to receive the application of petroleum jelly to either the inner (IEL) or the outer (OEL) eyelid margin prior to measuring tear film stability and lipid layer patterns using the Keeler Tearscope™, at timed intervals up to 30 minutes, which were then compared to baseline data. In Part 2, six male subjects (age 22.8±3.1 yrs) attended the laboratory for three sessions during which hydrogel contact lenses were fitted to both eyes and a fluorescein solution was applied in one of three ways to one eye only; directly onto the IEL, OEL, or via a liposomal spray to the closed lid. The lenses were harvested after 20 minutes and examined using UV spectrophotometry. Differences in UV absorbance over 400-600nm indicated fluorescein uptake compared to control lenses.

Results: Part 1: A significant change in the lipid layer pattern of the tear film was observed after five minutes for IEL (p=0.007), but not until 20 minutes for OEL (p=0.037). Tear film stability decreased significantly within five minutes for IEL application (p=0.010), but not until 20 min for OEL (p=0.045). Part 2: Contact lenses harvested after IEL application demonstrated significantly greater absorbance compared to control lenses (p=0.005). Where fluorescein was applied via spray or OEL, no significant difference in absorbance compared to controls was observed (p=0.098 and p=0.124, respectively). Comparing the application methods, absorbance following IEL was significantly increased compared to OEL (p=0.014) and spray (p=0.044).

Conclusions: Lipid-based, water-based and liposomal solutions can migrate across the muco-cutaneous junction when applied in close proximity to the eye. All three applications studied showed some migration; however application to the IEL was found to be most effective in allowing for migration into the tear film. Application of a lipid based solution to the IEL exhibited migration that was 4 times faster than OEL application. This has implications for drug delivery and cosmetic use around the eyelid margins.

Keywords: 526 eyelid • 486 cornea: tears/tear film/dry eye • 421 anterior segment  

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