Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eye-staining technique offers early detection for dry eye syndrome

21.08.2007
Lissamine green sounds like the latest cleaning sensation being hawked on television and probably not something you would want to get in your eyes.

But a few properly placed drops can reveal staining patterns that are key to diagnosing dry eye syndrome earlier than other methods, providing doctors more options for treating the potentially sight-stealing disease, new research at UT Southwestern Medical Center confirms.

Lissamine green is an eye-drop stain used by ophthalmologists to detect damaged cells on the eye’s surface, flagging them green under special lighting.

“What this research showed is that the degree and pattern of staining was a good, objective indicator of the severity of the tear deficiency,” said Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern and one of the world’s leading experts on dry eyes.

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye ailments. According to various estimates, it affects 10 percent to 30 percent of the world’s population, including 10 million to 14 million Americans – mostly older women. Symptoms include eyes that burn or sting, blurred vision, frequent blinking, light sensitivity or a sandy or gritty feeling like something is in the eye.

In a study appearing in the July issue of the journal Eye and Contact Lens, Dr. McCulley and his colleagues found that the severity of the dry eye condition in patients correlates with where the stain patterns show up. Researchers identified three basic patterns that indicated progressively dangerous conditions:

The least-severe condition is indicated by stains limited to the whites of the eyes between the lids toward the nose. This so-called nasal staining doesn’t necessarily predict dry eye: it might be caused by environmental factors, such as pollution.

The second level appears as stains in the white of the eye between the lids, but toward the ear. “That is fairly diagnostic of a tear deficiency,” Dr. McCulley said.

The third and most severe level occurs when the stain also appears on the cornea.

“That’s when things really get serious,” said Dr. McCulley, the study’s senior author. “If the dry eye is significantly affecting the cornea, it deteriorates vision and adds a major risk factor for a person developing a bad infection.”

Stains in the cornea indicate a break in the surface cells. Most bacteria require such a break in order to penetrate the eye, where the bacteria can cause an ulcer.

“When the surface is healthy, we’re protected against the vast majority of bacteria. But if there’s a compromise of the surface, then bacteria can invade,” said Dr. McCulley, who said the investigation was inspired by his many years observing staining patterns in the patients he treated.

Researchers examined the stain patterns in 22 patients with varying degrees of dry eyes and 11 patients without ocular disease, who served as control subjects. The research not only revealed the progressive pattern, but also underscored the value of using lissamine green stain over the more commonly used fluorescein stain, which doesn’t easily identify damage until it is more progressed.

“If an ophthalmologist uses the most commonly used stain, which is fluorescein, they’re going to miss the first two stages of the development of dry eye and consequently miss a lot of diagnoses,” said Dr. McCulley, director of the Theodore and Mary Beasley Laboratory for Ocular Surface Research and the Jean H. & John T. Walter Jr. Center for Research in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Earlier diagnosis is crucial in giving doctors more treatment options and preventing the disease from getting worse. Dry eye syndrome can also signal other conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, further underscoring the importance of early diagnosis.

“The more severe stage is not only more problematic in affecting vision, but it is more difficult to treat and reverse,” Dr. McCulley said. “So it’s very important to diagnose at the mild stages because it can become a self perpetuating disease if not effectively treated.”

Russell Rian | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>