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R.L. Chalmers, C. Begley; Dryness Symptoms With and Without Contact Lens Wear . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):113.
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Dryness symptoms remain a significant impediment to success for contact lens wearers. The purpose of this paper is to characterize differences in the reporting pattern for dryness between contact lens wearers, former wearers and non–wearers to determine whether contact lens related dryness is an extension of underlying dry eye.
Data from the Dry Eye Questionnaire (DEQ) and Contact Lens DEQ (CLDEQ) which measured ocular surface symptoms in 1054 unselected eye care patients (including 367 contact lens wearers and 167 former lens wearers) in a multi–centre cross–sectional study in 1998 was compared to data from 538 adapted contact lens wearers in 2004 allowed for measurement of changes in contact lens related dryness across time.
For contact lens wearers, dryness was frequent or constant in 26.8% of subjects and was reported at a significantly higher intensity late in the wearing day (12.7% AM versus 41.1% PM, p<0.0001). Without lenses, these patients reported less dryness; 6.2% with frequent or constant and 1.5% with moderate to intense symptoms late in the day (p<0.0001, Chi–square). Baseline prevalence of dryness symptoms among 538 subjects in the 2004 trial was the same as in CLDEQ 1998 data (p=0.93). Former lens wearers were most likely to self–report dry eye (p=0.0002). Computer use, seasonal allergies and gender did not correlate with dryness symptoms among contact lens wearers. Female gender was significantly correlated with frequency and PM symptoms in non–wearers (r=0.118, p=0.006; r=0.145, p=0.0007). Younger contact lens wearers reported more dryness symptoms than older wearers. Lens wearers reported low satisfaction with dryness treatments, often removing lenses to alleviate dryness.
Contact lens related dryness is a temporary condition that is reported in a significantly different pattern than dryness among non–lens wearers. Best practices to manage contact lens related dryness will require proper selection of lens material, care and rewetting systems, and management of environmental triggers to increase the number of successful wearers of contact lenses.
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