OCTOPUS: Seeking non-lens wearers with & without dry eye

Dry eye disease (DED) is a common ocular condition affecting up to 75% of the population and can severely impact patient quality of life. There is a need for more specific tests to diagnosis dry eye disease. The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of an ocular thermography test that measures the surface temperature of the eye using a special camera to diagnose dry eye. It will also assess if a biomarker test that looks at chemical components and antibodies in the tear film can be used to diagnose dry eye.

Both dry eye and non-dry eye participants are being recruited as part of this study. Participants in the non-dry eye group are being invited to join a control group of people without dry eye. Participants in the non-dry eye group will be selected based on their age and biological sex to match a corresponding participant in the dry eye group.

About the study

This study involves 2 study visits, over 2 consecutive days.

  • Visit 1 – Screening and DED assessments – 2.5 hours
  • Visit 2 – Additional DED assessments and study exit – 2.0 hours

Total time commitment for visits = 4.5 hours over 2 days (use of any dry eye treatments/tear drops are not permitted on the study days)  

This study will include 2 in-clinic visits over 2 consecutive days (total = 4.5 hrs) and involve collecting the tear film from your eyes and taking pictures of your eyes with a thermal imaging camera in addition to standard optometric assessments that would occur during an eye exam (including application of an eye drop and procedures that involve something touching the eye).

Participant requirements

  • You are at least 17 years of age
  • You have not worn any contact lenses in the past 6 months
  • You are not experiencing ocular allergies
  • You are not on any allergy medications or any medicated eyedrops
  • You have had an eye exam in the past 2 years
  • Dry eye group: You have a history of DED and/or using tear drops for at least the past 3 months
  • Non-dry eye group: You have no previous history of DED and no history of using any tear drops in the past


In appreciation of your time, you will receive $20 per hour you are involved in the study ($90 upon completion). Parking tokens are available for those who drive to their visits.

How to participate

If you are interested in participating, please create a volunteer profile at the link below and we will contact you with more information. If you are already a registered CORE volunteer, please email COREstudies@uwaterloo.ca and mention the study name OCTOPUS. You will be provided with all relevant study information prior to study enrollment, and you are under no obligation to participate.

All studies conducted at CORE have been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Board.


Time Commitment

Start Date

End Date