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Treatment of dry eye: An analysis of the British Sjogren's Syndrome Association comparing substitute tear viscosity and subjective efficacy

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This study aims to address the lack of independent subjective efficacy data on artificial tear substitutes in the treatment of dry eye due to the anecdotal association of 'thicker' products being more effective. This is an independent study of the subjective use and efficacy of topical treatments used by members of the British Sjogren's Syndrome Association (BSSA) related to product viscosity. 2000 members of the BSSA were sent a questionnaire regarding their physical condition and the use of artificial tear substitutes. Viscosity analysis was performed on the most popular preparations. Statistical comparison is made between subjective efficacies related to substitute tear viscosity. 1088 patients responded giving information regarding their condition together with the subjective use and efficacy data of artificial tear substitutes. Visco-analysis was performed on the most popular preparations; these had more than 50 patients using them. In terms of subjective benefits related to viscosity for 'frequency' and 'duration' the data suggests a general trend toward viscous preparations being instilled less frequently and lasting longer; however this was not shown to be significantly correlated and some interesting comparisons are reported. The results confirm high levels of ocular lubricant use in the BSSA population. Our data investigates the often-anecdotal evidence that thicker preparations are more effective. However, we did not find this correlation to be statistically significant suggesting further study into factors related to subjective product efficacy. These results lay foundations for the development of future products in the treatment of severe dry eye.

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