Drops significantly increase lipid layer thickness, study finds

September 1, 2005

Fort Lauderdale, FL—Instillation of one drop of Soothe eye drops (Alimera Sciences Inc.) significantly increased the thickness of the lipid layer, which is critical in dry eye disease, in patients with symptoms of dry eye. In these patients, the lipid layer thickness increased by 110% compared with the pretreatment value, according to Donald R. Korb, OD.

Fort Lauderdale, FL-Instillation of one drop of Soothe eye drops (Alimera Sciences Inc.) significantly increased the thickness of the lipid layer, which is critical in dry eye disease, in patients with symptoms of dry eye. In these patients, the lipid layer thickness increased by 110% compared with the pretreatment value, according to Donald R. Korb, OD.

The results of the study confirm that the "lipid layer is an important component of the tear film that needs to be addressed in the treatment of dry eye states and dry eye symptoms," said Dr. Korb, who is in private practice in Boston. He is also the director of research of Ocular Research of Boston, and reported the results of the study at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Head-to-head comparison

The exclusion criteria included a baseline lipid layer thickness that exceeded 75 nm, a difference in lipid layer thickness of more than 15 nm between the two eyes, and an increase in the lipid layer thickness that exceeded 15 nm after forceful blinking.

Subjects also could not have used an eye lubricant or ointment during the 36 hours before the study started.

The mean thicknesses of the lipid layer before eye drop instillation were 59.7 ± 1.8 and 61.5 ± 1.8 nm, respectively, in the eyes that received Soothe and Systane; the difference between the two values did not reach significance.

After instillation of Soothe, the mean of the three measurements showed that the thickness of the lipid layer increased from 59.7 to 125.1 ± 4.9 nm (p < 0.0001). After instillation of Systane, the mean of the three measurements showed that the thickness increased from 61.5 to 72.6 ± 2.6 nm (p < 0.0001), Dr. Korb reported.