Tear evaporation from the ocular surface

K. Tsubota, M. Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


A simple method was developed to measure tear evaporation. A sensor was inserted into a chamber covering the eye. The humidity inside each chamber then was measured every 10 sec for 2 min with both eyes either closed or open but allowing normal blinking. The difference between these conditions represented evaporation from the ocular surface. Using this method, the tear evaporation rate at 40% ambient humidity (TEROS 40) was calculated. The average TEROS 40 in normal subjects (n = 43) was 15.6 ± 3.8 x 10-7 g/sec. It was 9.5 ± 5.6 x 10-7 g/sec in patients with dry eye symptoms (n = 72, P < 0.001). The insertion of lacrimal collagen implants in one group of such patients (n = 10) increased the TEROS 40 from 10.2 ± 5.5 x 10-7 g/sec to 18.2 ± 4.8 x 10-7 g/sec (P < 0.01). The instillation of eye drops increased the TEROS 40 significantly in patients with dry eye symptoms for at least 1 min (n = 10, P < 0.01); a continued effect depended on the type of eye drop. Increased TEROS 40 still was observed 5 min after instillation of viscous eye drops (0.1% and 0.3% sodium hyaluronic acid); the TEROS 40 returned to original levels within 5 min after instillation of artificial tears of normal viscosity with or without 0.05% sodium hyaluronate. In all cases, TEROS 40 returned to original levels within 10 min. This was a quick reliable method for measuring tear evaporation from the ocular surface, and it can be applied to evaluate tear dynamics and subclassifications of dry eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2942-2950
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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