Some clinical aspects of the eye in extended contact lens wear
The limbal vascular response to extended contact lens wear was examined in a group comparative study initially intended to last eighteen months. After six months all patients wearing contact lenses had presented with micro-epithelial cysts. This unanticipated occurrence of the micro-epithelial-cysts necessitated termination of the study, and limited the quantity of data collected. However, sufficient results were available to allow a limited description of •the vascular response to this form of contact lens wear. Interpretations of the date collected ore discussed in relation to suggested vasostimulating factors in the cornea. The micro-epithelial cysts observed after extended wear were classified and their rate of recovery recorded. A further clinical study was undertaken to observe cysts in both contact lens - and non contact lens-wearing eyes. Cysts were observed in every category of patient, although the characteristic patterns varied. These observations of micro-epithelial cysts are discussed with respect to the aetiopathogeneses of corneal epithelial cystic disorders. Subsequently, attempts were made to induce cysts in rabbit corneae by extended contact lens wear. Clinical observations revealed cyst-like appearances. Histological sections did not contain cysts but did exhibit signs characteristic •of cystic disorders of the corneal epithelium. In general, the results from the study indicate that extended wear is subjectively acceptable to contact lens wearers. However, the objective findings of significant vascular changes, micro-epithelial cysts and cases of acute red eye response cast considerable doubt on the recommendation of extended wear contact lenses for purely cosmetic applications.