Many contact lens (CL) users permanently discontinue wear because of ocular dryness and discomfort. This study aimed to determine whether refitting symptomatic soft CL wearers in to orthokeratology could improve ocular symptoms and signs.
This was a prospective, 3-month, open-label study of symptomatic (Contact Lens Dry Eye Questionnaire [CLDEQ-8] ≥12) soft CL wearers who were between the ages of 18 and 45 years. All subjects were refit into orthokeratology CLs (Emerald, Euclid Systems). The following tests were completed: CL history, Standardized Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) questionnaire, CLDEQ-8, CLDEQ-4, logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity, pupil size, refractive error, slit-lamp biomicroscopy, noninvasive tear break-up time, tear meniscus height, phenol red thread, conjunctival staining, corneal aesthesiometry, and corneal topography.
Twenty-nine of 40 qualifying subjects (age=24.43±4.62 years) completed the study. No significant differences were detected between completed and noncomplete subjects. Completed subjects had significantly better CLDEQ-8, CLDEQ-4, and SPEED scores at 3 months compared with baseline. Completed subjects had significantly better conjunctival staining scores and flatter keratometry values at 1 month compared with baseline.
Although not all symptomatic soft CL wearers were able to be refit into orthokeratology, subjects who were wearing orthokeratology at 3 months had a significant and clinically meaningful improvement in ocular symptoms. Additional work is needed to determine the mechanism leading to improved comfort because few clinical signs were changed after switching to orthokeratology.