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   Table of Contents      
Year : 1983  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 326

Tear film break up time in normal Indian subjects

A.M. U. Institute of Ophthalmology, Aligarh, India

Correspondence Address:
R R Sukul
Lecturer AMU Institute of Ophthalmology, Aligarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 6677581

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How to cite this article:
Sukul R R, Shukla M, Nagpal G. Tear film break up time in normal Indian subjects. Indian J Ophthalmol 1983;31:326

How to cite this URL:
Sukul R R, Shukla M, Nagpal G. Tear film break up time in normal Indian subjects. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1983 [cited 2020 Oct 25];31:326. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1983/31/4/326/27545

Dry eye is a frequently encountered ocular problem in our tropical climate. A number of diagnostic tests are available for the inves­tigation of dry eyes. However, nearly all of them have some or the other draw-backs. 11 is now accepted that tear film break up time is an easier and at the same times effective procedure in early diagnosis of dry eyes.[1],[2] The purpose of present study was to study tear film break up time in normal Indian subjects so that it may be of future help in the study of dry eye syndrome.

  Materials and methods Top

The present investigation was undertaken in 202 eyes of 101 normal Indian subjects, who were picked up randomly from the refraction units without any ocular disease. Out of these. 65 were males, and 36 were females. The age of the subjects ranged from 15 to 55 years.

Tear film break up time was studied under standard environmental conditions by one of us (R.R.S.) The precorneal film was stained for 2 minutes by 2" Sodium fluoroscein solu­tion and was studied under low magnification of slit lamp using a cobalt blue filter. The subject was instructed not to blink during the period of observation. The appearance of first dry spot or line on the precorneal film was noted and time elapsed between the observation of precorneal film and the appea­rance of first dry spot was recorded by the stopwatch. This procedures was invariably undertaken for both the eyes.

  Observations Top

The tear film break up time was found to be different in both the sexes without any relation to a specific age group. In males it varied from 3.5 to 17 seconds in right eye with a mean of 11.42 seconds and 3.55 to 19 seconds in left with a mean of 8.87 seconds. The corresponding figures for female was for both eyes 5.5 to 14 seconds with a mean of 9.42 seconds in right eye and 8.93 seconds in left eye. There was no relation between tear film break up time and the refractive status of the subject.

  Discussions Top

There are isolated reports of the study of tear film break up time in normal subjects in our part of the world.[3] The normal values of tear film break up time as reported by western workers ranged from 25 to 30 seconds[1],[2] and they believe that any value of tear film break up time under 15 seconds is pathological.[1],[2],[4] However, tear film break up time in the present study in the normal subjects was lower than 15 seconds but without any symp­toms of dry eye. We believe that the low tear film break up time in our cases is due to tropical climatic conditions as against the temparate climate of western countries, which would account for a higher break up time in western subjects.

The normal value of tear film break up time as observed in the present study would be very useful in the investigation of dry eye syndrome. Further they will be of great help in evaluation of various tear substitutes as also has been reported by few workers.[1],[3],[5] Thus study of tear film break up time is an important step in the diagnosis, manage­ment and prognosis of dry eye. The test is very simple and far superior qualitatively to other available tests as tear film is studied under magnification and chances of fallacy are practically nil. The interpretations of this test are easy and therefore, this test should be undertaken as a routine in the early diag­nosis of dry eye syndrome.

  Summary Top

Tear film break up time was studied in 202 eyes of 101 normal Indian subjects under standard environmental conditions. The normal value of tear film break up time was found to be lower than the western reports. It is advocated that this test should be utili­zed more frequently in the diagnosis and management of dry eye syndrome.

  References Top

Norn, M.S., 1969, Acta, Ophthalmol, 47:865.  Back to cited text no. 1
Letup, M.A., 1973, Int. Ophthalmol. Clinic, 13:185.  Back to cited text no. 2
Rangwalla, A.T. and Kalevar, V., 1981, Ind. J. Ophthalmol, 28:183.  Back to cited text no. 3
Dohlman, C.H., Letup, M.A. and Erglish, F.P., 1970, Vol. 10, No. 2, I.O.C. Little Brown & Co., Boston.  Back to cited text no. 4
Letup, M.A., Goldberg M and Reddy, M.R., 1975, Invest Ophthalmol. 14:255.  Back to cited text no. 5

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