Programm                 "Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"

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Characteristics of Spontaneous Eyeblink Activity during Video Display Terminal Use in Patients with Dry Eye Syndrome

Schlote T., Kadner G., Freudenthaler N. 
Universitäts-Augenklinik Tübingen

Purpose: To analyze the spontaneous eyeblink rate (SEBR) of patients with dry eye syndrome before and during video display terminal (VDT) use.
Method: The SEBR of 30 patients with dry eye syndrome (age 18 - 67 years) was measured by counting the absence of the corneal reflex using a computer-based video analysis system. Only complete eyeblinks were recorded within 10 minutes under three different conditions: during a conversation, during VDT use, and during VDT use after prolonged work for 30 min.
Results: In comparison to SEBR during conversation (mean 97.1/10min) the SEBR significantly decreased during VDT use (mean 43.4/10min) (p<0,001; Wilcoxon Signed Ranked test). Prolonged work at VDT was not associated with a further decrease of SEBR (mean 42.1/10 min). The SEBR was characterized by a marked interindividual variability ranging between 3 and 170 eyeblinks/10min during VDT use. No significant correlation between SEBR (neither during conversation nor during VDT use) and quality (break up time) and quantity (Schirmer-I test, Jones test) of the tear film could be detected.
Conclusions: VDT use is associated with a profound decrease of the SEBR in patients with dry eye syndrome. Marked interindividual differences in SEBR and no correlation between SEBR and ocular tear film parameters exist in dry eyes.

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