Purpose: To evaluate the effect of tear supplementation with preservative free 0.15% zinc-hyaluronate on ocular surface sensations and corneal sensitivity in dry eye patients. Methods: Ocular surface sensations were assessed using the ocular surface disease index (OSDI) questionnaire and by recording ocular sensations during forced blinking in parallel with noninvasive tear film breakup time measurement in 20 eyes of 20 dry eye patients. Corneal sensitivity thresholds to selective stimulation of corneal mechano-, thermal- and chemical receptors were measured using the Belmonte gas esthesiometer. All baseline measurements were repeated after 1 month of treatment with 0.15% zinc-hyaluronate. Results: After 1 month, a significant decrease in mean OSDI score (from 35.66 ± 12.36 to 15.03 ± 11.22; P < 0.001) and a significant improvement in tear film breakup time (from 3.83 ± 0.80 to 8.67 ± 4.50 s; P < 0.001) was observed compared to baseline. Sensory responses during the interblink period also significantly decreased after 1 month (P < 0.004). Corneal sensitivity thresholds to mechanical stimulation (90.61 ± 20.35 vs. 103.92 ± 17.97 mL/min; P < 0.025) and chemical stimulation (33.21 ± 0.51 vs. 33.58% ± 0.44% CO2; P < 0.025) significantly increased after 1 month, however sensitivity thresholds to thermal stimulation remained unchanged compared to baseline (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Prolonged use of 0.15% zinc-hyaluronate results in an improvement of tear film stability and a decrease of dry eye complaints. The decrease in corneal mechano-and polymodal receptor excitability suggests that zinc-hyaluronate helps to recover normal corneal sensitivity, and thus might have a beneficial additional effect on reducing ocular surface complaints in dry eye patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)