Purpose: To evaluate if the animation "blink blink" increases blink rate and improves dry eye symptoms during prolonged computer use.
Methods: Study part A: Blink rate was recorded at baseline and during computer work of normal subjects without symptoms of dry eye. Half of the subjects used "blink blink," instructed to blink on animation appearance; the other half used a placebo version for 1 week during computer use. Thereafter, blink rate was recorded again with the use of "blink blink." Study part B: Blink rate was recorded during computer work with dry eye symptoms (modified Ocular Surface Disease Index > 15.0). Subjects used the test and placebo version of "blink blink" each for 1 week (1 week washout; crossover) and were instructed to blink twice on presentation of the animation. Blink rate and dry eye symptoms were assessed after each phase and compared with baseline.
Results: Study part A: Ten subjects participated (mean [± SD] age, 38.3 [± 16.0] years; 5 women). A greater increase in blink rate was observed in the test group (5.62 blinks/min for the test group and 0.96 blinks/min for the control group). Study part B: Twenty-four subjects participated (mean [± SD] age, 39.3 [± 19.1] years; 11 women). Dry eye symptoms improved during both phases (with test and placebo) to a statistically significant degree (each, p < 0.001). This difference was more marked with the test (-5.42 [± 2.86] points) compared with the placebo version (-1.79 [± 1.38] points). Blink rate increased with the program by 6.75 (± 3.80) blinks/min (p < 0.001), compared with 0.50 (± 2.83) blinks/min with placebo (p = 0.396). This difference between test and placebo was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Twenty of the 24 subjects could tolerate "blink blink" well during computer use.
Conclusions: Blink rate and dry eye symptoms improved with "blink blink." The double blink prompted by the animation allowed a decrease in number of presentations and improved acceptance of "blink blink."