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R. L. Chalmers, B. Long, D. Keys, S. Dillehay, C. Begley; How Much Are Symptoms of Dryness in Daily Wear Hydrogel Contact Lens Wearers Alleviated by Silicone Hydrogel Lenses?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5396.
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To determine the dryness symptoms that could be attributed to contact lens wear via comparison of symptoms from age-matched contact lens wearers and non-wearers. That difference in symptoms was then compared to the change in frequency of dryness symptoms in hydrogel lens wearers before and after they were refit with lotrafilcon A or B silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
A historical, cross-sectional dataset of Dry Eye and Contact Lens Dry Eye Questionnaires (DEQ/CLDEQ) was used from an age matched subset of 259 contact lens wearers and 246 non-contact lens wearers. Prevalence of high frequency dryness ("frequent" or "constant") was compared between contact lens wearers and non-wearers. Longitudinal change in dryness frequency from 4 prospective studies (n=1,036) that involved refitting daily wear hydrogel lens wearers with silicone hydrogel lenses for daily or continuous wearing schedules was compared to the difference in symptoms between lens wearers and non-wearers.
In the historical dataset non-wearers were 47% less likely to report frequent to constant dryness than contact lens wearers (p=0.0001). In the prospective refitting trials to daily wear with lotrafilcon A lenses frequent or everyday dryness was reported by 67% (during the day - DD) and 62% (end of day (EOD) fewer subjects after refitting (p<0.0001, both). For lotrafilcon A used for up to 30 nights and days there was a 63% and 41% reduction in frequent or everyday DD and EOD dryness, respectively (p=0.014 and p=0.02, respectively). Lotrafilcon B with daily wear yielded a 48% and 46% reduction in DD and EOD dryness reports (p<0.0001, both).
After refitting daily wear hydrogel lens wearers with silicone hydrogel lenses, they reported approximately half the frequency of during the day and end of day dryness; an amount similar to the frequency of dryness symptoms of non-wearers. A comparison to symptoms among patients who do not wear lenses helps to establish the proportion of symptoms that can be alleviated by a change in lens material.
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