Relative Sensitivity of Clinical Tests to Hydrophilic Lens- Induced Corneal Thickness Changes

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The relative sensitivity of the van den Berg Straylightmeter, slitlamp biomicroscopy, a modified optical pachometer, Bailey-Lovie logMAR visual acuity (VA), and two glare tests (The Brightness Acuity Tester used with 10% contrast VA and Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity) to hydrophilic contact lens-induced edema was assessed in 19 subjects (mean age 25.9 ± 4.5 years). After baseline assessments, subjects wore thick hydrogel lenses on one eye which was patched tightly for 3 h. Assessments were repeated at frequent intervals after lens removal to assess recovery. None of the pachometer measurements returned to baseline within the 2-h monitoring period, although the majority were within 2% of baseline corneal thickness. The average time for the Straylightmeter scores to recover to baseline values after the lens removal was 90 min, which was similar to the time when visible edema at the slitlamp disappeared. The average time for return to baseline of logMAR VA and the two glare tests was consistently two to three times shorter than the time for the Straylightmeter score. The Straylightmeter therefore provided assessments of corneal edema similar to slitlamp examination and was more sensitive than VA or glare testing.

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