CLToday Fitting Tip of the Month

November 2005

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Joseph T. Barr and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches more than 12,000 readers in 74 countries.

Dryness with Soft Contact Lenses: True Dryness or Allergy?
Time and again we are confronted with patients who tell us that their contact lenses feel dry. Often we treat these patients based solely on their subjective complaints. Just because a patient is aware of their contact lenses does not mean their contact lenses are dry. Many times there is an allergic component associated with lens awareness. Ask your patients if a new contact lens (not yet exposed to a multipurpose solution) feels better and whether they can wear these for longer periods of times than older lenses.
Examine the superior tarsal plate of every patient because a mild papillary response can contribute to symptoms of lens dryness. Ask about itching and closely examine the bulbar conjunctiva for signs of injection.
To treat signs of allergy in those who complain of dryness, try changing multipurpose solutions or switching to a daily replacement contact lens. Topical allergy medications can also convert dry contact lens complainers into comfortable contact lens wearers. Use a combination of both signs and symptoms to diagnose the true cause of contact lens dryness complaints.
Mile Brujic, O.D.
Bowling Green, Ohio

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Report adverse contact lens reactions here: or call (800) FDA-1088.

Access a reporting form for complications you've seen that were a result of contact lenses dispensed without a valid prescription at the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry's (ARBO's) Web site: Complete and send the form online or print it out and fax it to (866) 886-6164.

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