Eye rubbing-induced changes in intraocular pressure and corneal thickness measured at five locations, in subjects with ocular allergy

Osuagwu, Uchechukwu L. & Alanazi, Saud A. (2015) Eye rubbing-induced changes in intraocular pressure and corneal thickness measured at five locations, in subjects with ocular allergy. International Journal of Ophthalmology, 8(1), pp. 81-88.

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To assess the effects of eye rubbing on corneal thickness (CT) and intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements obtained 0-30min after habitual eye rubbing in symptomatic patients.


Measurements of IOP and CT were obtained at five locations (central, temporal, superior, nasal and inferior) before, and every 5min for 30min interval after 30s of eye rubbing, for 25 randomly selected eyes of 14 subjects with ocular allergy and 11 age-matched normals. Differences in measurements were calculated in each group [Baseline measurements minus measurements recorded at each time interval after eye rubbing (for IOP), and for each corneal location (for CT)] and comparison were then made between groups (allergic versus control) for differences in any observed effects.


Within groups, baseline mean IOPs in the allergic patient-group (14.2±3.0 mm Hg) and in the control group (13.1±1.9 mm Hg) were similar at all times, after eye rubbing (P >0.05, for all). The maximum reduction in IOP was 0.8 mm Hg in the control subjects and the maximum increase was also 0.8 mm Hg in the allergic subjects. Between groups (allergic versus control), the changes in IOP remained under 1 mm Hg at all times (P=0.2) after 30min of eye rubbing. Between 0 and 30min of CT measurements after eye rubbing, the mean central CT (CCT), inferior CT (ICT), superior CT (SCT), temporal CT (TCT) and nasal CT (NCT) did not vary significantly from baseline values in the control and allergic-subject groups (P>0.05, for both). Between both groups, changes in CT were similar at all locations (P>0.05) except for the TC which was minimally thinner by about 4.4 µm (P=0.001) in the allergic subjects than in the control subjects, 30min following 30s of eye rubbing.


IOP measured in allergic subjects after 30s of habitual eye rubbing was comparable with that obtained in normal subjects at all times between 0 and 30min. Although, CT in the allergic subjects were similar to those of the control subjects at all times, it varied between +10 and -7.5 µm following eye rubbing, with the temporal cornea showing consistent reductions in thickness in the subjects with allergy. However, this reduction was minimal and was considered to not be clinically relevant.

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ID Code: 82111
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Ocular Allergy, Intraocular pressure, Corneal Thickness, Eye rubbing, Keratoconus
DOI: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2015.01.15
ISSN: 2222-3959
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 International Journal of Ophthalmology
Deposited On: 01 Mar 2015 23:04
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 17:36

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