Author(s): Foulks GN, Harvey T, Raj CV
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Abstract Currently, the armamentarium of contact lenses that can be used for therapeutic effect provides a wider selection of lenses than ever before. If the therapeutic goal is protection and healing of the corneal epithelium, epithelial or stromal edema is best avoided, and the selection of a high-Dk silicone hydrogel (balafilcon A, lotrafilcon A) lens or a very thin membrane-type lens (crofilcon) is the best choice. If the goal is surface protection as well as stimulation of stromal wound vascularization, selection of a low-water content, thick, hydrophilic lens is the better option. If the patient is prone to lens loss or requires frequent replacement of the therapeutic lens, a prudent economic decision is to select a daily disposable moderate-water content lens. Specific circumstances may mandate the selection of a specific therapeutic lens. Patients with a prior history of active giant papillary conjunctivitis may be better served by the use of a crofilcon glyceryl methacrylate lens, which has a lower incidence of this complication. Patients who have dry eye may benefit from a higher-water content lens if adequate unpreserved tear supplementation is provided with or without punctal occlusion. The options when selecting a therapeutic contact lens are wider than ever before. Although the new generation of high-Dk lenses promises fewer limiting problems of vascularization and infection, one can use the older traditional therapeutic lenses when induced vascularization of the cornea is needed or when an economic necessity exists. Not all of the available lenses are FDA approved for therapeutic use, and such wear is an off-label use. The patient should be informed of the goal of therapy as well as the benefits and risks of therapeutic contact lenses.
This article was published in Ophthalmol Clin North Am
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology