Clinical evaluation of the efficacy and safety of heating physiotherapy goggles in the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction

Authors: Chen Zhiqing,  Yang Guizhen,  Wang Ruoqi,  Jiang Dan,  Zheng Qinxiang,  Chen Wei
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20220805-00364
Published 2023-05-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2023, 41(5): 457-465.

Abstract                              [Download PDF] [Read Full Text]

Objective

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of heating physiotherapy goggles in the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

Methods

A randomized controlled study was performed.Forty-four MGD patients were recruited in Wenzhou Medical University Eye Hospital from July 2021 to January 2022.Two patients were lost to follow-up.The patients were randomly divided into experimental group treated with heating physiotherapy goggles and control group treated with hot towels according to the random envelope method, with 21 patients (21 eyes) in each group.Throughout the study, the examiner was blinded.The data of the worse eye were analyzed.At baseline, 2 weeks and 4 weeks after treatment, the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), tear meniscus height (TMH), fluorescein breakup time (FBUT), corneal fluorescein staining score (CFS), lid margin hyperemia score and meibomian gland function scores were measured to evaluate the efficacy; visual acuity, intraocular pressure and slit lamp microscopy were examined to assess the safety.This study adhered to the Declaration of Helsinki.The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Wenzhou Medical University Eye Hospital (No.2021-177-K-153-01).

Results

There were significant differences in OSDI scores between before and after treatment (Ftime=16.528, P<0.001). No significant difference was found in OSDI scores between 30.46±17.31 at 2 weeks after treatment and 35.43±18.22 before treatment in control group (P=0.405). The OSDI score at 2 weeks after treatment was 26.27±16.47, which was significantly lower than 39.24±17.96 before treatment in experimental group (P=0.001). The eyelid margin hyperemia score was 0.0(1.0, 2.0) at 4 weeks after treatment in experimental group, which was significantly lower than 2.0(1.0, 3.0) in control group (Wald χ2=11.444, P=0.001). The morphologic scores of meibomian gland orifices at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment were both 1.0(0.0, 1.0) in experimental group, which were significantly lower than 2.0(1.0, 3.0) and 2.0(1.0, 2.5) in control group (Wald χ2=15.082, 23.172; both at P<0.001). The scores of meibum quality at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment were 1.0(0.5, 2.0) and 1.0(0.0, 1.5) in experimental group, which were significantly lower than 2.0(1.0, 2.0) and 2.0(1.0, 2.5) in control group (Wald χ2=4.638, 9.395; both at P<0.05). The scores of upper meibomian gland expressibility at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment were both 2.0(1.0, 2.0) in experimental group, which were significantly lower than 3.0(2.0, 3.0) and 2.0(2.0, 2.5) in control group (Wald χ2=6.489, 11.562; both at P<0.05). The score of lower meibomian gland expressibility at 4 weeks after treatment in experimental group was 1.0(0.5, 2.0), which was significantly lower than 2.0(2.0, 3.0) in control group (Wald χ2=24.085, P<0.001). The FBUT at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment were 3.00(1.75, 3.50) and 3.00(2.00, 4.00) seconds in experimental group, which were significantly longer than 1.00(0.75, 2.00) and 2.00(1.00, 3.00) seconds in control group (Wald χ2=8.576, 8.539; both at P<0.05). There were significant differences in TMH among different time points (Ftime=8.874, P<0.001). In control group, the TMH at 4 weeks after treatment was (0.24±0.09) mm, which was significantly higher than (0.18±0.05) mm before treatment (P<0.05). In experimental group, the TMH at 4 weeks after treatment was (0.23±0.09) mm, which was significantly higher than (0.17±0.05) mm before treatment (P<0.05). Significant differences were found in CFS score among different time points (Wald χ2time=10.116, P=0.006). There was no statistically significant differences in CFS score between before and after treatment in control group (Wald χ2=1.781, P=0.410). In experimental group, the CFS scores at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment were 0.0(0.0, 1.5) and 0.0(0.0, 0.0), which were significantly decreased in comparison with 0.00(0.00, 4.00) before treatment (both at P<0.05). In experimental group, the visual acuity converted to the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment were 0.10(0.00, 0.22) and 0.10(0.00, 0.22), which was significantly better than 0.10(0.00, 0.40) before treatment (both at P<0.05). There was no significant change in intraocular pressure at different time points between the two groups (Fgroup=0.432, P=0.515; Ftime=0.329, P=0.721). No serious adverse effects occurred in both groups during the follow-up period.

Conclusions

Compared with hot towel therapy, the use of heating physiotherapy goggles can relieve ocular discomfort of MGD patients more rapidly and improve the function and status of the meibomian gland more significantly.Heating physiotherapy goggles can treat MGD safely and effectively.

Key words:

Dry eye; Meibomian gland dysfunction; Heating physiotherapy goggles; Efficacy; Safety

Contributor Information

Chen Zhiqing

National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Diseases, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China

Yang Guizhen

National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Diseases, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China

Wang Ruoqi

National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Diseases, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China

Jiang Dan

National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Diseases, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China

Zheng Qinxiang

National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Diseases, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China

Chen Wei

National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Diseases, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China

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