Daily replacement contact lenses could alleviate symptoms experienced by wearers of reusable contact lenses, research shows. The study also found that lens performance is further affected by lens material. The findings were presented at this year’s American Academy of Optometry meeting.
In the first part of the study, data from 364 reusable contact lens wearers were used to estimate the prevalence of the following key symptoms and signs that may indicate struggling or “problem” contact lens wearers: frequent or constant dryness or irritation, uncomfortable wear for two or more hours, grade 2 or higher bulbar or limbal hyperemia (0-4 scale), and grade 3 or higher corneal staining (0-15 scale). These patients had no evidence of ocular abnormalities or disease that would contraindicate contact lens wear.
In the second part of the study, 235 “problem” patients–made up of the 154 patients (42 percent) identified in Part 1 as having at least one of the qualifying criteria and 81 patients with objective signs of dry eye that were recruited in separate trials–were fitted with either etafilcon A (1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST or 1-DAY ACUVUE) or nelfilcon A (Focus DAILIES, Focus DAILIES with AquaRelease or DAILIES AquaComfort Plus, Alcon) daily disposable lenses.
Refitting “problem” patients with daily replacement lenses reduced the percent of patients reporting dryness by 19 percent (P=0.001) and the percentage of patients with reduced comfortable wear time (CWT) by 35 percent (P=0.041). Overall, there was no significant effect on irritation, conjunctival injection or corneal staining.
At baseline, prior to being fit with daily replacement lenses, there were no significant differences noted in the prevalence of symptoms and signs between patients fitted with etafilcon A or nelfilcon A lenses. Significant differences between lens materials were reported following refit.
After refitting, 45 percent of patients wearing nelfilcon A lenses reported dryness compared to 32 percent of etafilcon A lens wearers. The prevalence of irritation was nearly twofold higher in nelfilcon A wearers (22 percent) than in etafilcon A wearers (12 percent, P=0.05). Fifty-five percent of nelfilcon A lens wearers reported reduced CWT compared to 37 percent of etafilcon A lens wearers (P=0.04).
Approximately 11 percent of nelfilcon A-fitted patients were classified with ‘problematic’ ocular redness compared to 2 percent in the etafilcon A group (P=0.003). No significant differences between lens materials were reported in the percentage of patients with corneal staining.
“The study demonstrates that daily disposables can offer a more comfortable wearing experience to patients experiencing challenges with their reusable contact lenses,” says study co-author Sheila Hickson-Curran, BSc(Hons), MCOptom, FAAO, director, Medical Affairs, VISTAKON Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. “The study analysis suggests that the etafilcon A daily disposable lenses may be a good choice to help address patients’ problems with reusable lenses and to help struggling patients remain in contact lenses.”
The study was supported by funding from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. makers of 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST Brand Contact Lenses and 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST Brand Contact Lenses for ASTIGMATISM.
ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses are indicated for vision correction. As with any contact lens, eye problems, including corneal ulcers, can develop. Some wearers may experience mild irritation, itching or discomfort. Lenses should not be prescribed if patients have any eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. Consult the patient information leaflet for complete information. Complete information is also available by visiting www.ACUVUEProfessional.com.