Dynamic distribution of artificial tears on the ocular surface

Jianhua Wang, Peter Simmons, James Aquavella, Joseph Vehige, Jayachandra Palakuru, Suk Chung, Changyong Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the effects of artificial tear viscosity on tear film thickness, upper and lower tear menisci, and tear volume using optical coherence tomography. Methods: The central tear film and tear menisci before and immediately after the instillation of different artificial tears were imaged in 40 eyes of 20 healthy individuals. Carboxymethylcellulose sodium, 1.0% (viscosity, 70 cP), propylene glycol, 0.3%, and polyethylene glycol, 0.4% (10 cP), carboxymethylcellulose, 0.5% (3 cP), and isotonic sodium chloride solution (1 cP) were tested on 2 consecutive days. All measurements, including tear film thickness, the height, radius, and area of the tear meniscus, and the estimated tear volume, were obtained at 0, 5, 20, 40, and 60 minutes after instillation. Results: At instillation, all artificial tears and isotonic sodium chloride solution caused an increase in all tear variables (P < .001). Tear film thickness remained significantly elevated for all drops at 5 minutes (P < .001) and returned to baseline at 20 minutes. Other variables returned to baseline at 5 minutes. Comparing the different drops, tear film thickness and lower meniscus variables at instillation were increased with the more viscous drops (P < .05). Conclusion: Optical coherence tomography demonstrated that all tear preparations, including isotonic sodium chloride solution, increased tear film thickness for at least 5 minutes and other variables immediately after instillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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