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    High viscosity eye drop improves T-BUT in VDT users

    High molecular weight increases blink rate and helps eye drops retain moisture on the ocular surface according to Professor Giancarlo Montani an optometrist FIACLE and a professor of optometry at the Universita del Salento in Italy.

    "Online social networking, computer gaming, and the need to be 'connected' 24/7 in order to compete professionally in today's tough economic climate makes the pervasive use of computers a trend that transcends demographics. Young and old, male and female, middle class and affluent people are increasingly exposed for longer and longer periods of time to video display terminals (VDTs ) with the resulting feelings of tired, dry, irritated eyes.

    "There is ample evidence in the literature indicating that computer use is associated with a reduced blink rate, a more widely exposed ocular surface and a thinning of the lipid layer. These alterations reduce tear film stability, which instigates ocular blurring, burning, stinging and photophobia. People describe these symptoms as ranging anywhere from bothersome to visually debilitating depending on various circumstances such as their average daily length of VDT use, whether or not they wear contact lenses, and other environmental influences — such as air conditioning and pollution exposure.

    "Wetting agents can be helpful, but the more frequent eye drop instillation in required, the less likely people are to consistently follow-through. In many cases, contact lens wearers who experience ocular dryness assume the problem is with the lenses. In cases such as this, CL users often forgo wearing their lenses, when something as simple as the right lubricating eye drop could mean the difference between CL intolerance and comfort.

    "Burgeoning VDT use, as well as pervasive environmenatl factors that influence feelings of dry eye, such as pollution and air-borne allergens, led us to design a study to evaluate ocular dryness in VDT users with the intervention of blink® Contacts and blink® Intensive Tears. Both of these lubricating eye drops contain sodium hyaluronate an ingredient that has been shown to significantly increase tear break up times (T-BUT), and thereby reduce the frequency with which drops need to be instilled to maintain patient comfort.

    Study outcomes
    "Our entire study cohort comprised 40 subjects who used VDTs an average of six hours daily. Participants were randomized into two groups; group one included 20 male (12) and female (8) non contact lens wearers ranging in age from 28 through 53 and group two included 20 male (10) and female (10) contact lens wearers ranging in age from 25 though 36. The non-contact lens wearers used blink® Intensive Tears (10 mL) unit dose twice daily in the morning and the afternoon; and the contact lens wearers used blink® Contacts (10 mL) unit dose twice daily in the morning and afternoon.

    "The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) was among the tools used to measure signs and symptoms of ocular dryness at baseline and after three weeks. OSDI is a questionnaire that quantifies the specific impact of ocular dryness or feelings of dry eye on quality of life. The OSDI is assessed on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores representing greater ocular discomfort. At baseline, there was not a significant difference in symptoms between the two groups according to results of the OSDI questionnaires. Participants from both groups described their symptoms at baseline as those that are associated with feelings of moderate dry eye — stinging, itching, blurring and foreign body sensation. At baseline, non-contact lens wearers’ OSDI average was 35; after three weeks of twice daily blink Intensive the average OSDI dropped by 10 pointes to 25 in this group. Results were the same among contact lens wearers; the OSDI average was 35 at baseline and 25 after three weeks of twice daily blink Contacts.

    "We also performed Non Invasive Break Up Time (NIBUT) studies with a keratometer at baseline and after three weeks to evaluate the stability of the tear film without the use of fluorescein. In the non-contact lens group. NIBUT was 20 at baseline and 25 after three weeks of twice daily of blink® Intensive Tears; and in the contact lens group NIBUT was 17.5 at baseline and 25 after three weeks of twice daily blink® Contacts.

    "We concluded that blink® Intensive Tears and blink® Contacts represent an effective support to the management of the feeling of dry eyes during the use of VDTs.

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