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Jennifer Ding, Young Hyun Kim, Andrew D Graham, Sarah M Yi, Meng C Lin; Relationships between tear-film characteristics and maximum inter-blink period in eyes with and without ocular surface cooling. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):2770.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the association of maximum inter-blink period (MIBP) with tear-film characteristics in subjects who do and do not exhibit evaporative ocular surface cooling (OSC).
Subjects refrained from blinking for as long as comfortably possible (the MIBP), while ocular surface temperature was measured. Non-invasive tear break-up time (NITBUT), tear-lipid layer thickness, and Schirmer I were also evaluated. Subjects were then divided into Cooling and Non-cooling groups based on OSC rate (Figure 1). The association of these outcomes with the MIBP, and differences between groups, were assessed by linear model.
Seventy-seven subjects (62 female, 15 male), ages 18-35 years, completed the study. Subjects were divided into Cooling (n=55) and Non-cooling (n=22) groups. OSC rate was associated with MIBP in the Cooling group only (p=0.001). There were significantly more females (89% vs. 59%; p=0.003), shorter mean (SD) NITBUT (8.4 [7.9]s vs. 19.8 [21.1]s; p=0.001), and a thinner mean (SD) tear-lipid layer (49.1 [14.3]nm vs. 57.3 [19.1]nm; p=0.041) in the Cooling group than in the Non-cooling group. Multivariate analyses showed that within the Cooling group, OSC rate and NITBUT were significantly associated with MIBP (p=0.002). Within the Non-cooling group, only the NITBUT was significantly associated with MIBP (p=0.035).
Tear film instability (as measured non-invasively) appears to be a driving force behind ocular discomfort and the need to blink. Surprisingly, OSC may contribute to sensations of discomfort for some people, but does not appear to generally be the determining factor in how long most people can comfortably hold their eyes open.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
Cooling and Non-cooling groups within ocular surface cooling rate during maximum inter-blink period.
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