More epithelial damage found in contact lens wearers with DED
Greater epithelial damage, elevated inflammatory cytokines and neuromediators in tears, and higher corneal dendritic cell density were found in patients with dry eye disease (DED) who wore contact lenses compared with those who did not wear contact lenses, according to a study.
Ocular surface parameters were evaluated in 60 patients divided into groups according to those with DED with contact lens wear (CLW; n = 20), DED without CLW (n = 20), and normal control (n = 20).
In addition to significantly higher ocular surface staining scores, there were higher levels of IL-1β, nerve growth factor (NGF), and substance P (SP) in tears in the DED with CLW group compared to the DED without CLW group. The DED with CLW group also had significantly higher corneal dendritic cell density than that in the normal controls and DED without CLW group. Tear cytokine levels of IL-1β, NGF, and SP were correlated with ocular surface parameters in the DED with CLW group.
The number of years of CLW were also positively correlated with corneal dendritic cell density and negatively correlated with corneal nerve density.
The study authors suggested that “the immune and nervous systems may be involved in contact lens-related DED.”
Yang T, Ma B, Xie J, et al. Evaluation of Ocular Surface Characteristics in Dry Eye Disease With and Without Soft Contact Lens Wear: A Comparative Study. Eye Contact Lens. 2022;doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000904. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35583308.