Purpose: Blurred vision in keratoconjunctivitis sicca eyes could be the result of the loss of the glossy surface of the tear film because of changes in composition or thickness irregularities. Spatial-contrast sensitivity in keratoconjunctivitis sicca and normal control eyes was tested before and after a tear substitute.
Methods: Three different groups of subjects were enrolled: one group of dry eyes with nonsignificant signs of epithelial disease (n = 12), the second group of dry eye positive with 1% Bengal rose staining of the cornea and of the conjunctiva (n = 18), and a third of normal eyes as control group (n = 15). In all the 45 eyes, spatial-contrast sensitivity was tested under the best correction by means of the Vistech Multivision Contrast Tester 8000 (Vistech Consultants, Dayton, OH, U.S.A.) before and 15 min after the instillation of a 0.4% Na-hyaluronate tear substitute without preservatives.
Results: A significant decrease of spatial-contrast sensitivity ranging from 35 to 70% was present in keratoconjunctivitis sicca eyes compared with a third group of age-matched normal eyes used as control. The spatial-contrast sensitivity was significantly lower also in the presence of preserved corneal surface. The addition of a tear substitute improved spatial contrast-sensitivity thresholds in all groups.
Conclusion: Tear-film disease can affect the transfer function of modulation of the ocular surface.