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The effect of cold tetracaine on the severity of burning sensation upon instillation

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Session Details

Session Title: Cornea Miscellaneous

Session Date/Time: Monday 24/09/2018 | 16:30-18:00

Paper Time: 16:30

Venue: Room A3, Podium 3

First Author: : W.Sansanayudh THAILAND

Co Author(s): :    N. Sansanayudh   T. Phansucharitthai                 

Abstract Details


Tetracaine is one of the most common eye drops that are used for analgesia in clinical practice. However, it causes ocular burning sensation when instilled. Our study is to compare the effect of the cold versus room-temperature tetracaine on burning sensation.


Ophthalmology out-patient clinic, Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.


We conducted a prospective, double blinded randomize control trial during January 2016-February 2017. Four hundred and twenty four consecutive patients (excluded those who had history of keratopathy or neuropathy) who were scheduled for dilated fundus examination were randomized to receive cold (4°C) tetracaine in one eye and room-temperature (22.5°C) tetracaine in the other eye. Each patient was asked to answer the questionnaire on the severity of burning sensation using 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS).


Patients reported less burning sensation on the eye that received cold tetracaine (VAS = 20.1±1.9 VS. 22.7±2; P=0.025). In subgroup analysis, young patients (≤40 years old), female subjects, patients who received tetracaine for the first time, and those who had no previous ocular surgery reported more benefit from cold tetracaine. Subgroup of patients who had normal corneal sensation, identified by using cochet-bonnet aesthesiometer, also showed greater benefit from cold tetracaine compared to those with impaired corneal sensation.


Cold tetracaine causes less burning sensation than room temperature solution. We recommend cold tetracaine in routine practice especially those who were anticipated to have these common side effects.

Financial Disclosure:


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