Purpose. To date, there have been no measuring techniques available that could clearly identify all phases of tear film surface kinetics in one interblink interval.
Methods. Using a series of cases, we show that lateral shearing interferometry equipped with a set of robust parameter estimation techniques is able to characterize up to five different phases of tear film surface kinetics that include: (i) initial fast tear film build-up phase, (ii) further slower tear film build-up phase, (iii) tear film stability, (iv) tear film thinning, and (v), after a detected break-up, subsequent tear film deterioration.
Results. Several representative examples are given for estimating tear film surface kinetics in measurements in which the subjects were asked to blink and keep their eyes open as long as they could.
Conclusions. Lateral shearing interferometry is a noninvasive technique that provides means for temporal characterization of tear film surface kinetics and the opportunity for the analysis of the two-step tear film build-up process.
Faculty of Fundamental Problems of Technology, School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (DHS, DRI), and Institute of Physics, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wroclaw, Poland (DHS).
Received October 5, 2009; accepted March 5, 2010.