Contact lens discomfort linked lipid layer

21 November 2014

People may suffer discomfort when wearing contact lenses because of changes in the lipid layer of the eyes' natural tear film, a new study has suggested. The tear film is a three-layered "sandwich" of fluids that keep the eyes nourished and protected.

Published in Optometry and Vision Science, the findings indicate that applying a liposomal eyelid spray could help prevent the tear film from drying, which makes contact lens wearing uncomfortable.

The pilot study, led by Dr Fiona Stapleton from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, analysed the tear film in two groups of soft contact lens wearers: ten with contact lens discomfort and ten without discomfort. 

Focusing of the lipid-rich outermost layer of the film, the team noted some differences in the tear film of patients who were and weren't suffering with discomfort.  They found that those who were complaining about their contact lenses had degradation of the lipid layer just hours after wearing contact lenses.

Dr Anthony Adams, editor-in-chief of Optometry and Vision Science said discomfort is the main reason why people stop wearing contact lenses, and the findings suggest the main reason is degradation of the lipid layer in the eye.

Posted by Edward Bartel


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