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E.I. Pearce, C.V. Archer, M.A. McWilliams, A. Tomlinson, J.R. Fuller; Effects of Novel Eye Warming Goggles on the Tear Film . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5601.
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To investigate the effect of a novel eyelid warming device on tear film function in symptomatic dry eye sufferers.
The EyeCalm Meibomian Goggles use electrical heating elements and moist inserts to deliver latent heat to the lids, while an anti–condensation mechanism allows the subjects to perform visual tasks during treatment. Twenty subjects (mean age 23.1 years, range 21–29 years, 8 males 12 females) who reported two or more dry eye symptoms on a McMonnies questionnaire were recruited; subjects were treated with the device for 10 minutes at 50°C and 100% humidity. Tear evaporation rate (ServoMed EP3) and lipid layer thickness and spreadability (Doane Interferometer) were assessed before and immediately after treatment. To assess safety, eyelid temperature was measured before and immediately after treatment using a non–contact infrared thermometer (Tasco THI–700s).
A significant reduction in tear evaporation was observed following treatment with the goggles, from 39.8 to 27.1 g m–2 h–1 (p = 0.04, Wilcoxon test). There was also a significant increase in the incidence of a well–spread, uniform tear film after treatment (p = 0.01, Wilcoxon test). The eyelid temperature was observed to rise from 33.5 to a safe level of 38.7°C and this was not reported as uncomfortable.
This study shows that treatment with the EyeCalm Meibomian Goggles causes a significant improvement in the tear lipid layer confluence and spreading in subjects with dry eye symptoms. More importantly, this was confirmed by a significant reduction in tear evaporation rate. The device was well tolerated and should prove a useful treatment for patients with symptoms of dry eye.
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