Purpose: To investigate the effect on lens wear of using a lubricant drop pre and post lens wear in silicone hydrogel contact lens wearers with moderate symptoms of discomfort.
Method: Thirty-six subjects completed a single masked, randomised, controlled, 2-week crossover, dispensing clinical trial. The test solution was SystaneTM dry eye lubricant drops and the control unpreserved unit dose saline. Lens wear was bilateral, daily wear, 2-weekly disposal of Acuvue® Advance TM with Hydraclear TM. All subjects were adapted daily wearers of silicone hydrogel lenses. The criterion for being symptomatic was reported daily use of rewetting drops during wear. Subjects were instructed to instil the relevant study solution 10-15 minutes prior to lens insertion and again after lens removal. Subjective responses were assessed at Day 7 and Day 14. Lens fit/surface, vision and ocular physiology were assessed at Day 14.
Results: With Systane dry eye drops, statistically significant reductions in perceived redness (p=0.03), and observed limbal redness (p=0.03) were found. There was also less burning/stinging (p=0.05), itchiness (p=0.045) and lens awareness (p=0.042) sensation compared to saline. Lubricant drop use was more likely to be associated with the subjective impression of improved “all day” and “end of day” dryness sensation. However, a small effect on vision was reported with use of lubricant. Systane use resulted in decreased use of other rewetting drops during the day (p=0.006).
Conclusion: Compared to saline, Systane lubricant drops reduce ocular redness and improve comfort symptoms related to dryness (burning/stinging, itchiness, lens awareness) during lens wear. Also, use of lubricant pre and post lens wear contributed to decreased reliance on supplementary rewetting drops during the day. When used with this type of silicone hydrogel lens, lubricant drop use was found to be safe and without detrimental effects on vision, lens fitting, deposits or corneal/conjunctival staining.