Evaluation of therapeutic efficacy of Emustil drops for ocular discomfort and tear film osmolarity using different treatment management modes under dry environmental conditions

Ali Abusharha, E. Ian Pearce, Tayyaba Afsar*, Suhail Razak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: We aimed to check the efficacy of Emustil (oil in water emulsion) drops on tear film index and ocular surface dynamics in dry environments through protection and relief treatment modalities. Methods: The subjects were exposed to a dry environment using a Controlled Environment Chamber (CEC) where the relative humidity (RH) was 5% and the temperature was 21 °C and screened for ocular symptoms, tear osmolarity, ocular surface temperature (OST) and tear production using ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire (OSDI), OcuSense TearLab Osmometer, FLIR System ThermaCAM P620 and Schirmer strips/phenol red test respectively. Tear production was calculated by the Tear Function Index test (TFI). Results: The mean tear film osmolarity decreased significantly from 296.8 mOsm/l at 40% RH to 291 mOsm/l at 5%. (p = 0.01). Instillation of Emustil resulted in a significant increase in tear osmolarity in the relief method compared with osmolarity seen at 5% RH when no drop was used. The mean PRT value decreased from 26 ± 9 in normal conditions (40% RH) to 22 ± 4 mm in dry conditions (5% RH). Emustil drops did not induce any significant change in tear production in the PRT test. No significant change was found in OST following exposure to 5% RH. OST did not show a statistically significant change with the emulsion when used for relief (p > 0.05). The mean score of ocular discomfort observed was 70 at 5% RH. Still, the instillation of the oil-in-water emulsion (Emustil) resulted in a noticeable decrease in visual discomfort to 37 (p = 0.00) in protection and 59 in relief (p = 0.05). Emustil drops substantially improved tear film parameters under a desiccating environment, however, tear film parameters respond differently to the management modalities. In the protection method, tear film osmolarity was protected against a dry environment, while in the relief mode, tear production was improved. Conclusion: CEC allows for a thorough evaluation of tear film parameters and dry eye treatment protocols in labs, providing greater confidence when applying them to patients. In addition, our study showed that Emustil not only provides protection and relief for dry eyes but also helps to maintain ocular homeostasis in desiccating environments. This indicates a promising potential for improving dry eye treatment protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024


  • Dry environment
  • Low humidity
  • Ocular surface temperature
  • Ocular symptoms
  • Oil in water emulsion
  • Tear osmolarity
  • Tear production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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