SAN DIEGO — Contact lens-related dryness is a distinct condition from dry eye in non-lens-wearing patients, said one presenter here at the American Academy of Optometry meeting.
Robin Chalmers, OD, “wanted to understand if contact lens-related dryness is merely a symptom of dry eye” or if it was a separate phenomenon.
The study culled data from 1,054 people who answered the Dry Eye Questionnaire and the Contact Lens Dry Eye Questionnaire. Of the respondents, 367 wore contact lenses and 167 people were former lens wearers. The initial respondents were questioned in 1998; their responses were compared with answers from 538 adapted-contact lens wearers in 2004.
The study found that dryness was frequent or constant among 26.6% of contact lens patients and was markedly more pronounced late in the wearing day, with 12.7% complaining in the morning and 41.1% complaining in the afternoon.
These patients reported less dryness without lenses, with 6.2% reporting constant or frequent dryness and 1.5% reporting moderate to intense late-day dryness. Gender, seasonal allergies and computer use were not found to be factors in dry eye symptoms. Younger lens wearers reported more dryness than older wearers. Among non-contact lens wearers, significantly more women reported frequent dryness and late-day dryness.
The study concluded that contact lens-related dry eye is a temporary and significantly different condition from dry eye.
“Contact lens-related dryness is not merely an extension of dry eye,” Dr. Chalmers said. “Clinical trials trying to address and solve this problem should reflect that.”