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    A tearscope made of paper?

    Simple device tracks lipid layer by analyzing colors of interference patterns

    Gangwon-do, Korea—A new tearscope was easy to use when evaluating the lipid layer in tear film-related disease, said Ho Sik Hwang, MD.

    The tearscope (Hosik’s Tearscope) was created to analyze the lipid layer in patients with dry eye syndrome, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), said Dr. Hwang, assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital College of Medicine, Hallym University, Gangwon-do, Korea.

    The 3- x 6-cm device, made from everyday copy paper, was introduced by Dr. Hwang and fellow researchers Eunchul Kim, MD, and Man Soo Kim, MD, PhD.

    For observation purposes, the researchers made a round 6-mm diameter hole at one-quarter end of the paper. They positioned the tearscope in front of the patient’s eye, 1 cm from the cornea. With use of the slit lamp, researchers looked for interference patterns on the cornea through the hole.

    After adjusting for magnification, they captured images with a charge-coupled device camera connected to the slit lamp. Researchers also took photos of the upper lid margin and cornea stain patterns, and they measured tear breakup time (TBUT). They assessed the average lipid layer thickness by analyzing the colors of the interference patterns, Dr. Hwang said.

    They also analyzed the relationship between lipid layer thickness and meibomian gland dropout and the relationship between lipid layer thickness and TBUT.

    More dry eye: How punctal plugs may influence tear osmolarity and aid in dry eye therapies

    Dr. Hwang and fellow researchers gathered tear film interference patterns from 238 patients with tear film-related disorders.

    Tearscope results

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