Ocular Surface Temperature During Scleral Lens Wearing in Patients With Keratoconus

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the ocular surface temperature using an infrared thermography camera before and after wearing scleral lens in patients with keratoconus and correlate these results with the tear production and stability.

Methods:

A pilot, experimental, short-term study has been performed. Twenty-six patients with keratoconus (36.95±8.95 years) participated voluntarily in the study. The sample was divided into two groups: patients with intrastromal corneal ring (KC-ICRS group) and patients without ICRS (KC group). Schirmer test, tear breakup time (TBUT), and ocular surface temperature in the conjunctiva, limbus, and cornea were evaluated before and after wearing a scleral lens.

Results:

The patients wore the scleral lenses from 6 to 9 hours with average of 7.59±0.73 hours. No significant changes in Schirmer test and TBUT were found for both groups. No temperature differences were found between the KC-ICRS and the KC groups for all zones evaluated. There was a slight, but statistically significant, increase in the inferior cornea, temporal limbus, and nasal conjunctival temperature for KC-ICRS group and temporal limbus temperature decreasing for the KC group after wearing scleral lens (P<0.05). The conjunctiva and limbus temperature was statistically higher than the central cornea for both groups before and after scleral lenses wearing (P<0.05), but no difference in the peripheral cornea was found. No statistically significant differences in the central corneal temperature were found between the groups after scleral lens wearing (P>0.05).

Conclusion:

Scleral contact lens seems not to modify the ocular surface temperature despite the presence of the tear film stagnation under the lens.

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