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Efficacy of an artificial tear emulsion in patients with dry eye associated with meibomian gland dysfunction

Authors Sindt CW, Foulks GN

Received 11 July 2012

Accepted for publication 5 February 2013

Published 27 August 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1713—1722


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Christine W Sindt,1 Gary N Foulks2

1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, 2Kentucky Lions Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA

Objectives: The aim of the study reported here was to assess the efficacy of an artificial tear emulsion for the treatment of dry eye associated with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Methods: At five clinics, patients completed a 1-week treatment with their habitual topical therapy and then a 4-week treatment with open-label study medication: Systane® Balance Lubricant Eye Drops (Alcon, Alcon Inc, Fort Worth, TX, USA). Subjective assessments included a preference survey, the Impact of Dry Eye in Everyday Life questionnaire, and the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Objective assessments by unmasked investigators included visual acuity, meibomian gland expression and dropout, tear film breakup time, corneal staining, and dosing frequency.
Results: At baseline, the 49 patients had mean meibomian gland expression grades and gland dropout that indicated mild to moderate MGD. Patients administered their habitual therapy 2.5 ± 1.3 times per day. After 4 weeks of study medication, the Impact of Dry Eye in Everyday Life questionnaire results indicated statistically and clinically significant improvements. Fewer than half of the participants were employed, limiting the usefulness of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Visual acuity remained statistically similar, while corneal staining and tear film breakup time improved significantly (P < 0.05) but modestly. The outcomes were achieved with 1.9 ± 1.1 doses per day of study medication, a significantly lower frequency than the habitual frequency (P < 0.001). The most common medication-related adverse event was blurred vision (3/49 patients, 6.1%). At study conclusion, 27/44 (61.4%) survey respondents preferred the study medication to their habitual therapy.
Conclusion: The artificial tear emulsion was effective for treating the signs and symptoms of dry eye in MGD patients.

Keywords: ophthalmic solutions, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment, Impact on Dry Eye in Everyday Life, MGD, tear film breakup time, corneal staining

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