Purpose: Patients with dry eye disease (DED) often suffer productivity loss and distress due to bothersome symptoms. The aim of this study was to objectively quantify and compare productivity-related emotional states obtained from brain waveforms in natural and simulated DED conditions. Method: 25 healthy adults (6 females and 19 males; mean age ± standard deviation, 22.6 ± 8.3 years) were recruited for the study, which included an electroencephalogram (EEG), measurements of interblinking time, and questionnaires. DED was simulated by suppressing blinking, while spontaneous blinking served as a control. Elements of concentration, stress, and alertness were extracted from the raw EEG waveforms and the values were compared during spontaneous and suppressed blinking. The relation with DED-related parameters was then explored. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Results: All participants successfully completed the experimental protocol. Concentration significantly decreased during suppressed blinking in 20 participants (80%), when compared with spontaneous blinking, whereas there were no or small differences in stress or alertness between spontaneous and suppressed blinking. The change in concentration was correlated with interblinking time (β = −0.515, p
= 0.011). Conclusion: Loss of concentration was successfully captured in an objective manner using the EEG. The present study may enable us to understand how concentration is affected during blink suppression, which may happen in office work, particularly during computer tasks. Further study using detailed ocular evaluation is warranted to explore the effect of different interventions.
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