Timothy Edrington


PURPOSE. To identify factors correlated with rigid contact lens comfort in keratoconus. METHOD. Year 1 follow-up data from the 15 CLEK Study clinical sites were analyzed on all patients wearing a rigid contact lens in one or both eyes. Corneal transplant patients were excluded from the sample. The eye with more advanced disease, based on mean steep keratometry values, was selected for analysis. If the more advanced eye was not prescribed a rigid contact lens, then the fellow eye was used for analysis. Nine hundred fifty-seven eyes were eligible. Variables investigated included measures of disease severity, visual acuity through the patients’ habitual rigid contact lenses, contact lens wearing time, the apical fitting relationship of the contact lens, the degree of peripheral clearance, and the presence of corneal scarring and staining. Comfort was measured by asking the patients "In general, how comfortable are your lenses?" (1="very comfortable" through 5 = "irritating").

RESULTS. With increased disease severity, there was decreased lens comfort. However, this change was not considered clinically significant. There appears to be no difference between patients fitted with apical touch versus apical clearance in terms of self-reported comfort. Only 42.1% of the 19 patients judged to be fitted with "minimal unacceptable" peripheral clearance reported lens comfort as "very comfortable" or "comfortable". Of the 770 lenses (71.5%) judged to have peripheral clearance ranging from "minimal acceptable" through "excessive" were reported as "very comfortable" or "comfortable".

CONCLUSIONS. Minimal unacceptable peripheral clearance (more common among patients with milder keratoconus) may contribute to decreased rigid contact lens comfort.


Year: 2001

Program Number: Poster 36

Author Affiliation: Southern California College of Optometry

Co-Authors: Ralph Gundel, David Libassi, Heidi Wagner, Gilbert Pierce, Jeffrey Walline, Joseph Barr, Harald Olafsson, Joel Achtenberg, Brad Wilson

Co-Author Affiliation: State University of New York, State University of New York, Nova Southeastern University Health Sciences Division, The Ohio State University, The Ohio State University, The Ohio State University, University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology, Washington University Medical School, Washington University Medical School

Room: Exhibit Hall C