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J.J. DeStafeno, I.J. Udell; Do Patients Wipe Their Eyes With the Eyelids Open or Closed: A Study of Self–Induced Ocular Surface Irritation . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):2657.
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To determine the prevalence of patients wiping theireyes with the eyelids in an open position. We report the incidenceof ocular irritation as a result of this practice.
A total of 130 patients were observed wiping each eyewith a tissue at the commencement of a general ophthalmologicexam. These patients were divided into those with a known historyof eye disease (Group W, n=75) and those without a known history(Group WO, n=55). Eye disease included dry eye, glaucoma, orconjunctiva/corneal pathology. Videos were taken of the eyewiping method and slit–lamp photos were taken of patientsexhibiting signs of irritation. Objective signs of irritationwas defined by the presence of flourescein staining of the corneaor conjunctiva. Symptoms of ocular irritation including foreignbody sensation and complaints of eye redness were obtained duringthe history.
Nineteen percent (14/75) in Group W and 18% (10/55)in Group WO, wiped their eyes with the eyelids in an open position.Of these 24 patients, 43% of Group W (6/14) and 30% (3/10) ofGroup WO had signs of ocular irritation. Symptoms of irritationwere found in 33% (8/24) of patients exhibiting signs of irritationand 20% (26/130) of patients without signs of irritation.
Wiping ones eyes with the eyelids in an open positionis not uncommon. The incidence was not affected by a preexistinghistory of eye disease. This practice may exacerbate or be thecause of iatrogenic ocular irritation in those patients whowipe their eyes with the eyelids open. Clinicians should observethe method of eye wiping in any patient with signs or symptomsof ocular surface irritation of unknown etiology. .
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