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November 1973

Complications in Use of Soft Contact Lenses in Corneal Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Cornea Service of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Department of Cornea Research, Retina Foundation, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;90(5):367-371. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000050369006

Two hundred seventy-eight patients with corneal disease were fitted with soft hydrophilic contact lens for therapeutic purposes, such as comfort, protection, or healing. In about half the number of cases, the lens was felt to be beneficial, primarily in those cases with edema, dry eyes, ulcers, or trichiasis. Serious complications were relatively few, mainly consisting of inflammation with stromal infiltrates. Eleven patients develped stromal infiltrates, at least four of which were definite infections, causing permanent damage. It was concluded, however, that in many cases of corneal disease the advantages of applying a soft contact lens far outweighs its risks. The importance of frequent observation and prophylactic antibiotics is stressed in cases with epithelial defect and in dry eyes.

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