Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working to cure 'dry eye' disease

Date:
May 6, 2014
Source:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Summary:
The eye is an exquisitely sensitive system with many aspects that remain somewhat of a mystery -- both in the laboratory and in the clinic. Mathematicians and optometrists are working to change this by gaining a better understanding of the inner workings of tear film distribution over the eye’s surface. This, in turn, may lead to better treatments or a cure for the tear film disease known as “dry eye.”

The eye is an exquisitely sensitive system with many aspects that remain somewhat of a mystery -- both in the laboratory and in the clinic.

Related Articles


A U.S.-based team of mathematicians and optometrists is working to change this by gaining a better understanding of the inner workings of tear film distribution over the eye's surface. This, in turn, may lead to better treatments or a cure for the tear film disease known as "dry eye." They describe their work in the journal Physics of Fluids.

Dry eye disease afflicts millions of people worldwide, with symptoms such as pain, dryness, redness, reduced visual acuity, and feelings of grittiness. While drops can provide some temporary relief, dry eye conditions can damage the cornea and, over time, result in reduced visual function.

When the tear film functions properly, a thin liquid film coats the eye surface during a blink by the upper eyelid, creating a smooth optical surface for vision and allowing us to see clearly.

"With dry eye, this optical function is disrupted by either insufficient tear volume or by excessively rapid evaporation of water from the tear film," explains Richard Braun, a professor in the University of Delaware's Department of Mathematical Sciences. "In either case, the tear film may not be able to form a smooth optical interface for a sufficiently long time to allow normal eye function."

The tear film on the surface of the eye is a very thin fluid layer -- only a few millionths of a meter thick. This thickness is less than 1,000 times the size of the eye opening, which is approximately 1 centimeter.

Braun and colleagues "took advantage of this difference in sizes to develop simplified mathematical models that work quite well to capture experimentally observed phenomena in vivo," he said.

Once the team created a mathematical model, they were able to solve it using numerical methods in the computer appropriate for solving the equations on irregularly shaped domains like the shape of the exposed area of the eye. "We use and extend a computational framework called 'Overture,' which was originally developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory," Braun added.

Under the assumptions of their model, the team quantified the dynamics all over the exposed ocular surface, and the results agreed well with in vivo observations of the tear film gained from fluorescence imaging. "Our mathematical results captured how tear fluid makes its way around the eyelids to the drainage holes called 'puncta,' in the inside corner of the eye," he said.

Among the team's key findings was verifying that it takes "a blink" to redistribute tear film. "The evaporated tear film on the front of the eye can't be replenished by simply supplying more new tear fluid from the lacrimal gland," Braun noted.

Braun believes their results "may aid in the development of better treatments for dry eye, and also add valuable context and understanding for current imaging techniques used to observe tear film dynamics."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics (AIP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Longfei Li, Richard J. Braun, Kara L. Maki, William Henshaw, and P.E. King-Smith. Tear Film Dynamics with Evaporation, Wetting, and Time-Dependent Flux Boundary Condition on an Eye-Shaped Domain. Physics of Fluids, May 6, 2014 DOI: 10.1063/1.4871714

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics (AIP). "Working to cure 'dry eye' disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506115615.htm>.
American Institute of Physics (AIP). (2014, May 6). Working to cure 'dry eye' disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506115615.htm
American Institute of Physics (AIP). "Working to cure 'dry eye' disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506115615.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins