Measurement of the tear film: A review

W. D. Mathers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: To review the published data on the types of measurements that have been performed on the various components and properties of the tear film. We also discuss the problems and limitations encountered with this type of data collection. Methods and results: We divided the tear film into three functions, structures that compose the tear film, composition and analysis of the elements that make up the tear film, and tear film production and loss issues. Each of these is discussed regarding the measurements of these quantities and the utility making these measurements. The function of contact lenses in the tear film and the effects of contacts on various parameters is considered in depth. Conclusions: Many aspects of tear film function can be successfully measured. Some of these functions correspond to appropriate clinical parameters of the tear film. It is important to measure more than one function of the tear film to achieve an accurate understanding of its dynamic status. Contact lenses impact the tear film and our understanding of contact lens function can be improved by measuring their impact on quantifiable parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-113
Number of pages5
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Contact lenses
  • Tear film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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