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Sunday / July 14.
HomeminewsEyelid Sensitivity to Measure Dry Eye

Eyelid Sensitivity to Measure Dry Eye

Australian researchers have found that a simple test of eyelid sensitivity may help optometrists evaluate dry eyes.

Professor Isabelle Jabert, and colleagues from The University of New South Wales, used a test called esthesiometry to measure the sensitivity of the eyelid margins – the very edge of the upper and lower eyelids. The test, which could easily be performed in the optometrist’s office, provides an accurate measure of the lid margin’s sensitivity to touch.

The researchers then looked at how eyelid sensitivity was related to the function of some specialised structures of the eyelid margin. A special dye was also used to stain the innermost layer of the eyelid margin to assess the function of the meibomian glands, which secrete an oil-like substance into the tear fluid.

Increased osmolarity and decreased meibomian gland function have both been linked to symptoms related to dry eye: one of the most common ocular complaints, especially in older people.

results showed surprising differences between the upper and lower eyelids – including greater sensitivity of the lower-lid margin

The results showed surprising differences between the upper and lower eyelids – including greater sensitivity of the lower-lid margin, which was found to be related to hyperosmolarity of the tear film – that is, more concentrated tears. The finding suggests the potential for a new approach to clinically assessing tear osmolarity.

Whereas past studies have shown a relationship between corneal sensitivity and osmolarity, none have addressed the possible lid sensitivity relationship. The ease with which the non-transparent lids can be accessed to measure sensitivity provides a potential clinical advantage over measuring sensitivity to touch on the cornea. By comparison, the relationship between tear osmolarity and staining appears much
more ambiguous.

The study titled, Lid Margins: Sensitivity, Staining, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and Symptoms, appeared in the October issue of Optometry and Vision Science.