Clinical and biochemical analysis of the ageing tear film


Background Tear film stability is important for healthy visual function, and yet little is known of the ageing mechanisms. The aim of this study was to investigate parallels between biochemical changes and clinical physical parameters, which occur in the tear film of two subject populations differing in age by over 30 years. Methods Two distinct age groups were chosen: 11 'younger' (23.7±2.1 years) and 19 'older' (63.0±4.0 years) subjects. A series of clinical tests were performed to access tear volume, tear film stability and general ocular health. Tear protein analyses from extracted Schirmer strips were conducted with the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer. Results Clinical investigations highlighted significant differences between the age groups. For example: McMonnies scores (p=0.009) and bulbar redness (p=0.038) were higher for the older group, whereas tear meniscus height was larger (p=0.018) in the younger group. Similarly, relative plasma-derived albumin levels were higher (17.1%±12.4%) in the tears of the older, compared with the younger (5.0%±9.6%) group. A protein peak at 1/423 kDa was observed in 53% of the older group samples but in only 36% of the samples of the younger subjects (p=0.122). Conclusions Distinct differences in tear film composition between the two age groups were observed. Parallels in terms of clinical symptoms which reflected a biochemical response (and vice versa) were found, but specific correlations between clinical measurements and biomarkers for individual subjects were not observed.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry & Vision Science Research Group (OVSRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
Additional Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License Funding: British Contact Lens Association Summer Research Scholarship.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing biomarkers,corneal haemostasis,tear film stability,tear protein,Ophthalmology,Sensory Systems,Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Publication ISSN: 1468-2079
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 07:07
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 08:19
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
http://bjo.bmj. ... mol-2018-313760 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-07-01
Published Online Date: 2019-05-11
Accepted Date: 2019-04-20
Authors: Mann, Aisling (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-4075-8831)
Campbell, Darren
Mirza, Zeba
Hunt, Olivia
Wolffsohn, James Stuart (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-8927)
Tighe, Brian J (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-9601-8501)


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