Deakin University

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Non-invasive objective and contemporary methods for measuring ocular surface inflammation in soft contact lens wearers - a review

journal contribution
posted on 2017-10-01, 00:00 authored by C Chao, K Richdale, I Jalbert, K Doung, Moneisha GokhaleMoneisha Gokhale
Contact lens wear is one of the primary risk factors for the development of ocular surface inflammatory events. The purpose of this review is to examine and summarize existing knowledge on the mechanisms of contact lens related ocular surface inflammation and the evidence for the effectiveness of current objective methods to measure ocular surface inflammation. Contact lens wear is postulated to trigger an inflammatory response on the ocular surface due to mechanical, chemical, hypoxic stress, or by the introduction of microbes and their toxins. Apart from the traditional signs of inflammation, such as swelling, oedema, redness and heat, on the ocular surface, other methods to measure ocular surface inflammation in sub-clinical levels include tear inflammatory mediator concentrations, conjunctival cell morphology, and corneal epithelial dendritic cell density and morphology. Tear inflammatory mediator concentrations are up- or down-regulated during contact lens wear, with or without the presence of associated inflammatory events. There is higher conjunctival cell metaplasia observed with contact lens wear, but changes in goblet cell density are inconclusive. Dendritic cell density is seen to increase soon after initiating soft contact lens wear. The long term effects of contact lens wear on dendritic cell migration in the cornea and conjunctiva, including the lid wiper area, require further investigation. Currently patient factors, such as age, smoking, systemic diseases and genetic profile are being studied. A better understanding of these mechanisms may facilitate the development of new management options and strategies to minimize ocular surface inflammation related to contact lens wear.



Contact lens and anterior eye






273 - 282




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, British Contact Lens Association