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J.D. Solomon, V.F. Finnemore, J.V. Greiner, D.R. Korb; Effect of Warm Compresses on Visual Acuity and Impression of Visual Clarity . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):231.
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This study was designed to determine whether warm compresses, which have been shown to increase lipid layer thickness (LLT) and reduce dry eye signs and symptoms, alter visual acuity and the subjective impression of visual clarity (SIVC).
Baseline (time=0 min) measurements obtained for both eyes included visual acuity, SIVC, corneal topography (CT), LLT, autorefraction, and evaluation for striae and corneal edema. A warm, moist compress (42±2°C) was then applied with minimal pressure for 30 min to the closed eyelids of the randomized experimental eye; nothing was applied to the contralateral control eye. At 5, 15, and 30 min during compression, and 5 minutes post–compression, visual acuity, SIVC, CT, LLT, and autorefraction were evaluated for both eyes. Both eyes were also observed for striae and edema at 30 min.
For the experimental eye, 78% of subjects showed a decrease in visual acuity and/or reported the impression of blurred vision, most extreme immediately after a blink. Visual acuity degradation ranged from 1 line of Snellen acuity to 6 lines (20/100). There was no change in visual acuity or SIVC in the control eye. Changes in CT were as follows: 17% of the subjects evidenced changes, 17% transient changes, 33% mild changes, and 33% were unchanged. Distortion of the miral images, analyzed by ophthalmometry, occurred in 6 subjects. A >60 nm LLT increase was observed in 54% of subjects, an increase of 30–45 nm in 25%, and an increase of <30 nm in 21%. There was no change in LLT in control eyes. For both eyes, there were no significant changes (≤0.25D) in autorefraction, and no edema or striae visible at 30 min.
Although warm moist compress therapy applied to the skin of the closed eyelids did not alter autorefraction values, this study indicates that warm compress application can temporarily alter visual acuity, SIVC, LLT, and CT.
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