This prospective study investigated the ocular surface temperature in patients with pterygia compared to those with dry and healthy eyes respectively. Previous studies have shown that patients with dry eyes show a significant decrease in ocular surface temperature on sustained eye opening compared to controls. The authors of this study argue that accurately evaluating a dry eye in patients with pterygia can be challenging as often Schirmer’s tests are normal as there is no impairment of lacrimal secretion, however, tear film break up time can be used as a measure of corneal dryness. This study sought to investigate whether ocular surface temperature could be used as another benchmark to determine whether pterygium surgery is indicated. The results showed a significant decrease in ocular surface temperature in both the pterygium and dry eyes group compared to the control group. Although this study shows that there is a temperature difference similar to dry eye patients it is unclear whether clinics would consider investing in another piece of equipment to determine ocular surface dryness when dry eye is a symptom many patients are vocal about. There are other cheaper and simpler ways of evaluating dry ocular surface, mainly tear film break up time, fluorescein staining and Schirmer’s testing. Furthermore, in these financially strict times, funding for these operations has become an issue and showing a decrease in ocular surface temperature may not be sufficient to overcome this, as opposed to worsening visual acuity or astigmatism.

Evaluation of ocular surface temperature in patients with pterygium.
Gonnermann J, Maier AKB, Klein JP, et al.
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Khadijah Basheer

Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.

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