The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Study: Lid wiper epitheliopathy

This was a large study (287 patients!) with some interesting highlights.

People more likely to have LWE included Asians  (twice as likely as non-Asians) and contact lens wearers. Non contact lens wearers with LWE were not symptomatic.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Apr 1;59(5):1878-1887. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23639.
The Relationship of Lid Wiper Epitheliopathy to Ocular Surface Signs and Symptoms.
Li W1, Yeh TN2, Leung T1, Yuen T1, Lerma M1, Lin MC1,2.
Author information

There has been interest in determining whether lid wiper epitheliopathy (LWE) plays a key role in causing ocular discomfort. Conflicting reports have made it difficult to discern whether LWE is more prevalent in certain populations, what characteristics are associated with its severity, and what its role is in symptomology. This cross-sectional study on a large and diverse population attempts to answer these questions.

Subjects were asked to complete questionnaires related to dry eye and to ocular discomfort. A comprehensive set of ocular surface parameters were assessed, including LWE length and width, tear-film lipid layer thickness, fluorescein tear breakup time (FTBUT), lid-parallel conjunctival folds (LIPCOF), and corneal staining.

A total of 287 subjects participated in the study. LWE was observed in 45% of the study cohort and was twice as prevalent in Asians than non-Asians (P < 0.005). LWE was more likely to present in contact lens wearers than non-contact lens wearers (P = 0.03). Decreased FTBUT was associated with increased LWE length and width (P < 0.005 and P = 0.01, respectively), although only a small effect size was noted. Presence of LIPCOF was linked with a 0.25-grade increase in LWE width (P = 0.01). Only LWE width was associated with greater symptoms in contact lens wearers.

LWE was associated with decreased tear-film stability, contact lens wear, lid anatomy, and LIPCOF. LWE was not associated with symptoms in non-contact lens wearers. LWE width was associated with greater symptoms in contact lens wearers but was only clinically significant with moderate to severe LWE width.