Investigating the Short-term Effect of Eyelid Massage on Corneal Topography

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term effect of eyelid massage, after the use of warm compresses, on corneal topography.

Methods

Corneal topography was evaluated on 20 subjects (mean age, 47.0 [SD ±17.3] years) using the Oculus Keratograph (Oculus, Wetzlar, Germany). Corneal eccentricity (Epsilon) was compared between topography measurements before eyelid warming (using warm compresses) (T1), after eyelid warming (T2), directly after eyelid massage (T3), and 30 minutes after eyelid massage (T4). Differences in corneal eccentricity between the enrolment measurement (T1) and consecutive measurements (T1-4) were analyzed. The contralateral eye—treated by warm compresses, but not by eyelid massage—was the control. Visual acuity (decimal), bulbar conjunctival hyperemia, and corneal staining (Cornea and Contact Lens Research Unit grading scale) were evaluated at T1 and T4 to assess clinical safety.

Results

No significant differences were found between consecutive eccentricity measurements overall and with the central radii (repeated-measures analysis of variance, P > .238 (massaged eyelid: Epsilon T1: 0.48 [95% confidence interval, ±0.07], T2: 0.49 [±0.05], T3: 0.49 [±0.06], T4: 0.48 [±0.06]; horizontal radii T1: 7.76 [±0.13] mm, T2: 7.74 [±0.13] mm, T3: 7.75 [±0.13] mm, T4: 7.76 [±0.13] mm; vertical radii T1: 7.56 [±0.12] mm, T2: 7.55 [±0.10] mm, T3: 7.54 [±0.10] mm, T4: 7.58 [±0.11] mm). Decimal visual acuity significantly improved at the end of the study (massaged eyelid: T1: 1.1 [±0.1]; T4: 1.3 [±0.1]; P < .032). No significant differences were detected between the consecutive evaluation of corneal staining (Wilcoxon test; P > .285). Redness was not significantly different between time points (repeated-measures analysis of variance; P = .187) in the colateral eyes. Hyperemia was significantly reduced in the massaged eyes (T1: 2.0 grade units [±0.3]; T4: 1.9 [±0.3]; P = .021).

Conclusions

Eyelid warming followed by eyelid massage appears to be a safe procedure, without any clinically relevant short-term effects on the cornea.

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