April 2010
Volume 51, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2010
Time to Reflex Tearing in Response to Chemical Nasolacrimal Stimulus in Dry Eye Subjects versus Normals
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. J. Maffei
    Ora, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts
  • G. W. Ousler, III
    Ora, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts
  • D. L. Welch
    Ora, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts
  • S. J. Curwen
    Ora, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts
  • E. Prifogle
    Ora, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts
  • M. B. Abelson
    Ora, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts
    Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  C.J. Maffei, Ora, Inc., E; G.W. Ousler, III, Ora, Inc., E; D.L. Welch, Ora, Inc., E; S.J. Curwen, Ora, Inc., E; E. Prifogle, Ora, Inc., E; M.B. Abelson, Ora, Inc., E; Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School, E.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 3398. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      C. J. Maffei, G. W. Ousler, III, D. L. Welch, S. J. Curwen, E. Prifogle, M. B. Abelson; Time to Reflex Tearing in Response to Chemical Nasolacrimal Stimulus in Dry Eye Subjects versus Normals. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3398.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

Purpose: : We’ve previously shown the ability of the Controlled Adverse Environment (CAE model) to differentiate normals and dry eye patients based on time to reflex tearing. This research demonstrated a longer time to reflex tearing with increasing dry eye severity. Based on knowledge that nasal mucosal stimulation promotes tear production, the present study investigated the potential utility of chemical nasal mucosal stimulation in differentiating the two populations as well.

Methods: : 11 normal subjects and 10 subjects diagnosed with dry eye were evaluated. After careful instruction to indicate the first sensation of tearing, an open vial containing the chemical stimulant, dilute ammonia, was introduced approximately 5 cm away from the subject’s nose. A stopwatch was used to record the time from introduction of the chemical nasolacrimal stimulus to subject-reported tearing.

Results: : Subjects with dry eye demonstrated a time to reflex tearing of 9.26 ± 4.54 seconds compared to normal values of 4.54 ± 2.20 seconds. The observed time to reflex tearing in subjects with dry eye demonstrated significantly longer time to reflex tearing compared to normals (P = 0.017).

Conclusions: : These results demonstrated that subjects with dry eye exhibit a delayed reflex tearing response. These findings suggest that dry eye patients may have decreased protective mechanisms in response to chemical irritants. Furthermore, these findings may have implications for the impact of environmental irritants on subjects with compromised tear film barrier capabilities and warrant further investigation.

Keywords: cornea: tears/tear film/dry eye • protective mechanisms • ocular irritants 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.