Author(s): Herreras JM, Pastor JC, Calonge M, Asensio VM
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Abstract BACKGROUND: This study was undertaken to see whether long-term locally applied ocular medications produced any alterations in the ocular surface, and, in particular, whether it caused damage to the mucus layer of the tear film. METHODS: The authors studied the ocular surface of 40 control subjects (group 1), 21 patients (group 2) chronically treated with a commercial preparation of 0.5\% timolol maleate, and 20 previously untreated glaucomatous patients (group 3) in need of treatment with the same drug. Parameters studied were Schirmer's test, lacrimal meniscus height, break-up time, fluorescein and rose Bengal stains, conjunctival impression cytology, mucus staining, and the ferning test. RESULTS: Patients in groups 2 and 3 showed a significant decrease (P less than 0.001) in the number of normal Schirmer's and break-up time tests. All had positive vital stains. Results showed a significant decrease (P less than 0.001) in goblet-cell density, mucus granules, and reticular sheets, and an increase (P less than 0.001) in pathologic crystallization patterns. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that chronic application of a commercial preparation of timolol maleate damaged the ocular surface, especially the mucus layer of the tear film.
This article was published in Ophthalmology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology