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Ocul Surf. 2018 Jan;16(1):93-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Post-blink tear film dynamics in healthy and dry eyes during spontaneous blinking.

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Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Department of Optics and Photonics, W11, Wyb. Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370, Wroclaw, Poland. Electronic address:



The aim was to investigate the dynamics of post-blink tear film leveling in natural blinking conditions (NBC) for healthy subjects and those diagnosed with dry eye syndrome (DES) and to relate this phase to the tear film surface quality (TFSQ) before the following blink.


The study included 19 healthy persons and 10 with dry eye, grouped according to symptoms and signs observed during examination. Lateral shearing interferometry was used to examine TFSQ. Post-blink tear film dynamics was modeled by an exponential function, characterized by the decay parameter b, and a constant, describing the level of the stabilized TFSQ. Pre-next-natural-blink TFSQ dynamics was modeled with a linear trend, described by a parameter A.


The post-blink tear film dynamics reached its plateau at a significantly (P = 0.006) lower level in the normal tear film group than in the dry eye group. The median exponential decay parameter b was statistically significantly higher for the control group than for the DES group, P = 0.026. The parameter b calculated for each interblink interval was significantly correlated with the corresponding parameter A (Spearman's R = 0.35; P < 0.001). Correlation between the median b and tear film fluorescein break-up time for each subject was also found (R = 0.41, P = 0.029).


Significantly faster leveling of post-natural-blink tear film was observed in the group with DES than in healthy eyes. This dynamic was correlated with the pre-next-natural-blink TFSQ and tear film stability. The results of this pilot study support previous works that advocate the importance of polar lipids in the mechanism of tear film lipid spreading.


Lipid layer; Polar lipids; Tear break-up; Tear film dynamics; Tear film leveling


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