Short tear film breakup time–type dry eye

Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Measurement of tear film breakup time (TBUT) has become a standard diagnostic procedure in the dry eye clinic. Short TBUT-type dry eye is characterized by TBUT of less than 5 seconds and dry eye symptoms such as ocular fatigue or dryness; the importance of this type has recently been gaining prominence. Patients with this condition show no reduction in tear production and no staining of the ocular surface. The severity of symptoms is almost the same as in dry eye in which the ocular surface is stained with rose bengal or fluorescein. In addition to discomfort, patients suffer from decreased vision due to the unstable tear film, which can be attributed to the relative abnormality of the lipid layer, aqueous layer, and/or mucin layer. The diagnosis should be performed carefully on the basis of the patient’s symptoms and the TBUT test, because the ocular surface appears normal and remains unstained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)DES64-DES70
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number14 Special Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


  • Break-up time
  • Subjective symptoms
  • Tear film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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