The relation between physical properties of the anterior eye and ocular surface temperature

Christine Purslow*, James Wolffsohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To examine the relation between ocular surface temperature (OST) assessed by dynamic thermal imaging and physical parameters of the anterior eye in normal subjects. METHODS. Dynamic ocular thermography (ThermoTracer 7102MX) was used to record body temperature and continuous ocular surface temperature for 8 s after a blink in the right eyes of 25 subjects. Corneal thickness, corneal curvature, and anterior chamber depth (ACD) were assessed using Orbscan II; noninvasive tear break-up time (NIBUT) was assessed using the tearscope; slit lamp photography was used to record tear meniscus height (TMH) and objective bulbar redness. RESULTS. Initial OST after a blink was significantly correlated only with body temperature (r = 0.80, p < 0.0005), NIBUT (r = -0.68, p < 0.005) and corneal curvature (r = -0.40, p = 0.05). A regression model containing all the variables accounted for 70% (p = 0.002) of the variance in OST, of which NIBUT (29%, p = 0.004), and body temperature (18%, p = 0.005) contributed significantly. CONCLUSIONS. The results support previous theoretical models that OST radiation is principally related to the tear film; and demonstrate that it is less related to other characteristics such as corneal thickness, corneal curvature, and anterior chamber depth. © 2007 American Academy of Optometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • corneal thickness
  • curvature
  • ocular thermography
  • tear film


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