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Study on Potential Impact of Pre-Operative Osmolarity on LASIK Outcomes to be Presented at ARVO 2012

SAN DIEGO, May 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TearLab Corporation (Nasdaq:TEAR) (TSX:TLB) ("TearLab" or the "Company") announced that a paper reporting on a multi-site refractive surgery center study designed to determine if pre-operative tear osmolarity levels relate to visual acuity outcomes following LASIK surgery will be presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology ("ARVO") Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The presentation, entitled "Pre-surgical Hyperosmolarity Predicts Refractive Outcomes," will be given by study investigator, David C, Eldridge, OD FAAO, on Monday, May 7 at 9:45 A.M. ET.

A normal, healthy tear film is in homeostasis with the blood at a reference value of 290 mOsm/L. In dry eye disease, the tear film becomes unstable as the body loses the ability to control osmolarity, with levels exceeding the recognized cut-off of 308 mOsm/L, and eye-to-eye differences often greater than 8 mOsm/L.

In the current analysis, 128 refractive patients (256 eyes) were classified into one of two groups: normal or dry eye disease, defined as having an osmolarity greater than 308 mOsm/L in at least one eye prior to surgery. All patients followed each surgeon's standard post-surgical therapeutic regimen including fluoroquinolone, corticosteroids, and Abbott Medical Optics' Blink® Tears. TearLab® Osmolarity testing, fluorescein staining, as well as uncorrected Snellen visual acuity (UCVA) assessments were performed at screening, immediately prior to, one month post-, and three month post-surgery.

Refractive Outcomes

Patients with pre-operative hyperosmolarity demonstrated significantly worse UCVA at three months post-surgery (20/28 for hyperosmolar patients vs. 20/19 for normal subjects; p=0.018). All subjects enrolled in the study had the same visual acuity up to one month while they were on a suite of therapies including corticosteroids and Blink Tears. However, once therapy became uncontrolled, the vision of patients with pre-operative hyperosmolarity regressed significantly. These patients averaged a score of 0.2 out of 4 for ocular surface staining before surgery, making it virtually impossible to distinguish any differences between the two groups using that diagnostic method.

Dr. Eldridge commented, "These findings suggest that stabilizing the tear film prior to laser vision correction can help doctors to achieve a significantly better initial surgical outcome for patients with pre-operative hyperosmolarity. Importantly, they also indicate that, in order to maintain those initial outcomes and thereby reduce the potential need for future enhancement procedures, maintaining therapy for DED patients for an extended period of time following LASIK is necessary. The only point-of-care diagnostic method sensitive enough to accurately assess tear film health in order to identify those patients who would benefit from pre- and post-LASIK therapy is testing with the TearLab Osmolarity System."

About The TearLab Osmolarity System

The TearLab Osmolarity System uses a novel lab-on-a-chip approach that requires less than 50 nL (nanoliters) of tear fluid in order to measure tear osmolarity. The TearLab Osmolarity System eliminates the challenges that previously prevented point-of-care osmolarity testing. The TearLab Osmolarity System can produce a sample-to-answer result in less than 30 seconds.

About TearLab Corporation

TearLab Corporation (www.TearLab.com) develops and markets lab-on-a-chip technologies that enable eye care practitioners to improve standard of care by objectively and quantitatively testing for disease markers in tears at the point-of-care. The TearLab Osmolarity Test, for diagnosing dry eye disease, is the first assay developed for the award-winning TearLab platform. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, TearLab Corporation's common shares trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol 'TEAR' and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol 'TLB'.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about TearLab. These statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Actual events or results may differ materially. Many factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement, including the factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including but not limited to our annual and quarterly reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Investors:
         Stephen Kilmer
         (905) 906-6908
         skilmer@tearlab.com
         
         Media:
         Leonard Zehr
         Managing Director
         Kilmer Lucas Inc.
         (416) 833-9317
         len@kilmerlucas.com
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