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A randomised controlled trial comparing a thermal massager with artificial teardrops for the treatment of dry eye
  1. Ji-Eun Lee1,2,
  2. Na Mi Kim3,
  3. Jae Wook Yang4,
  4. Su Jin Kim5,
  5. Jong Soo Lee1,6,
  6. Ji Eun Lee1,6
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea
  2. 2Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Yangsan Pusan National University Hospital, Yangsan, Korea
  3. 3Jung-geun Eye Hospital, Busan, Korea
  4. 4Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Inje University, Busan Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea
  5. 5Department of Ophthalmology, Maryknoll Hospital, Busan, Korea
  6. 6Medical Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ji Eun Lee, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, 1-10, Ami-Dong Seo-Gu, Busan 602-739, Korea; jlee{at}


Background To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a thermal massager for the treatment of dry eye syndrome.

Methods Ninety-five patients with dry eye syndrome were randomly assigned to receive either the thermal massager or artificial tears treatment. Thermal massage consisted of vibration, massage and thermotherapy and was carried out twice daily. Patients in the artificial tears group received 0.1% sodium hyaluronate solution five times daily. The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score, break-up time (BUT), Schirmer test, fluorescein staining of the cornea, tear osmolarity test and adverse events were evaluated after 4 weeks.

Results OSDI showed a significant improvement in both groups and improvement was significantly greater in thermal massager group (p=0.032). BUT and fluorescein staining also indicated significant improvement. No differences were found between the two groups in measures other than the OSDI. Adverse events were mild and transient.

Conclusions Thermal massage was effective in improving dry eye syndrome both subjectively and objectively. It was safe and seems to be a useful treatment option.

  • Tears
  • Treatment Other
  • Clinical Trial
  • Lacrimal Gland
  • Ocular Surface

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