Skip to main content
Accessibility  |  About  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms

Dry Eye Increase May be Caused by Drop in Temperature

  • Published: 2011-03-03 (Revised/Updated 2015-04-19) : Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
  • Synopsis: Dry eye results from insufficient tear production or altered tear film composition a temperature less than 30C on the eye and eyelid could be cause for worsening of the disorder.

Main Document

Quote: "The experiments further demonstrated that even if the thicker, stiffer substance does reach the eye surface, it may not spread as easily as under normal conditions."

Drop in temperature may explain the increase in dry eye suffering...

Springtime may be just what the doctor orders for individuals suffering from dry eye condition, a disorder resulting from insufficient tear production or altered tear film composition. According to a study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, a temperature less than 30 degrees Celsius on the eye and eyelid could be the cause for the onset or worsening of the disorder.

The study, (Meibomian Lipid Films and the Impact of Temperature) showed that the cold temperature causes the meibum, the oily substance which helps to form the outermost layer of the tear film, to become too thick and stiff to spread onto the eye surface.

"In outdoor conditions, the wind accelerates the drop in temperature of the ocular surface and the eyelids, thus the effect is even more pronounced," says author Igor A. Butovich, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "This mechanism seems to be one of the major factors that cause dry eye to worsen in cold, windy weather such that it can affect even healthy people."

Based on previous experience, the research team expected to see measurable effects of temperature on meibum. However, the researchers were surprised the results of their experiment found that a bulk of meibum abruptly melted in a very narrow range of temperatures, right around an eye surface and eyelid temperature of 32 - 34 degrees Celsius. If the temperature fell just a few degrees below that, the bulk meibum solidified, which could then result in plugging up the meibomian gland ducts.

The experiments further demonstrated that even if the thicker, stiffer substance does reach the eye surface, it may not spread as easily as under normal conditions. The tear film that forms on the eye will not have the right characteristics, which might cause it to evaporate more quickly and decrease its protective capabilities.

Butovich underscores that the goal is to maintain the quality of the tear film as close to normal as possible, under all conditions. "In cold climate, anything that keeps eyes and eyelids warm should help meibum flow easier, and form and maintain a better tear film; in windy conditions, protection from the wind "for example, with eye goggles "should reduce the tear film evaporation."

The authors strongly suggest that temperature be tightly controlled in future studies, especially since over-the-counter and prescription eye lubricant formulations that are being tested are most likely temperature-dependent. "Our experiments provided strong evidence that even a small drop in the ocular surface and eyelid temperatures is critical," stresses Butovich. "It would be logical to use this information and our approaches while designing new eye drop formulations."

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. ARVO encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology.

Similar Topics

1 : People Who Experience Dry Eye Soon to Have Drug-Free Solution : American Academy of Ophthalmology.
2 : Do Blind People Express Emotions the Same Way as Sighted People : Universite de Geneve.
3 : Visually-Impaired Children Experience Egg Hunt with Eggs That Beep : Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
4 : US Prevalence of Blindness and Visual Impairment Expected to Increase : The JAMA Network Journals.
5 : Clearly Campaign - Helping the World to See : Clearly.
From our Vision Disability section - Full List (71 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Urine and Blood Tests Can Indicate Autism in Children
2 : Newborns Who Experience Stroke Regain Language Function in Opposite Side of Brain
3 : Cognition and Emotion Play a Role in Predicting Quality of Children's Friendships
4 : Metabolomics - Promising Tool for Advancing in Treatment Personalization of Oncological Patients

Citation


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.