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May 1990

Pseudomonas Keratitis and Extended-Wear Soft Contact Lenses

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(5):663-664. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070070049033

In 1960, Wichterle and Lim1 introduced the concept of the soft contact lens. Until then, the hard polymethylmethacrylate lens, like the black Ford of yesteryear, was the workhorse of the field. As the daily-wear soft contact lens (DWSCL) became increasingly popular in the late 1970s, case reports suggested an association between wear of the lenses and the development of Pseudomonas corneal ulcers.2-4 In 1980, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cosmetic soft contact lens use for overnight wear (eg, extended wear), allowing up to 30 days of continuous wear. A number of articles soon followed implicating the cosmetic extended-wear soft contact lens (EWSCL) as a risk factor in the development of Pseudomonas keratitis.5-9 That the risk of such infection was greater with the use of EWSCLs than with DWSCLs was, until most recently, presumed but not proved. However, on September 21, 1989, the New England Journal of

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