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Jianhua Wang, James Aquavella, Yu Zhao, Suk Chung; Tear dynamics measured with real-time optical coherence tomography. Journal of Vision 2004;4(11):89. doi: 10.1167/4.11.89.
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Purpose. Despite its critical importance in visual function, maintenance of corneal integrity and ocular comfort, the dynamic variation of the tear film and tear meniscus (tear dynamics) remains one of the most neglected components of the eye. The aim of this study was to develop a novel method using real-time optical coherence tomography (OCT) to measure tear dynamics in real time.
Methods. Rapidly repeated cross-sections of the tear over the cornea and around the eyelids were obtained between blinks. Custom software processed these OCT images to yield the central tear film thickness as well as tear meniscus height, radius and area around both upper and lower eyelids over time.
Results. In 6 eyes of 3 normal, healthy subjects, baseline dynamic parameters were obtained. After instillation of artificial tears (OcuCoat PF, Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY, or GenTeal Lubricant Eye Gel, Ciba, Duluth, GA), the exact increases of these parameters were found, followed by the decreases. The changes of the tear dynamics after the instillation of the artificial tears were visualized and recorded in digital video format.
Conclusions. This pilot study has demonstrated the feasibility of the measurement of tear dynamics using OCT for the first time. This novel method opens a new era of studying the tear system and understanding dry eye. It appears to be a promising method to evaluate artificial tears and other dry eye treatments, such as punctal occlusion.
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