Washington: Researchers have developed a new non-invasive imaging technique to improve the treatment and diagnosis for dry eye disease which causes irritation and blurred vision. The study noted that up to 60 per cent of patient visits to the eye doctor could be due to dry eye.
The researchers, including those from The Optical Society in the US, mentioned that the eye disease occurred when there was instability in the inner layer of the tear film that protects the outside of the eye. Since most cases of the disease are diagnosed using patient questionnaires, the researchers said that the process was subjective, and could not be used to identify the cause of the disease. Until now, the researchers said, objective methods for examining the tear film was invasive and could not track rapid changing dynamics, that altered with every blink of the eyes.
“Our Tear Film Imager is the first device that can be used in the ophthalmology or optometry setting to image the tear film and distinguish its inner layers with nanometer resolution,” said Yoel Arieli, lead author of the study from AdOM Advanced Optical Methods Ltd. in Israel. The new instrument uses an eye-safe halogen light to illuminate the eye, and then analyses the full spectrum of light reflection happening over time and space, the study noted. The measurements, completed automatically in just 40 seconds, are used to reconstruct the structures found in the front of the eye, allowing ophthalmologists to accurately measure the tear film inner layers, particularly the aqueous sublayer.