Fiona Stapleton is the senior author of a recent report out of Australia, revealing the results of a study that indicate that increasing the amount of lipids in the eyes could reduce the condition that is commonly referred to as “dry eye.”
Twenty wearers of contact lenses took part in the study: 10 were experiencing eye discomfort and 10 were not. Both groups wore contact lenses for six hours and then removed them; the researchers measured how quickly their eyes dried out after removing the lenses, and analyzed their tear samples in a lab.
The eyes of the members of the group defined as experiencing discomfort dried out in an average time of 5 seconds, while the eyes of the members of the control group took almost 10 seconds to dry out.
The second part of the research project was to give the members of the group identified as experiencing discomfort an Australian product called Tears Again, which is a phospholipid spray distributed by BioRevive in Melbourne (http://biorevive.com/brands/tears-again/). The authors of the study published their results in Optometry and Vision Science, revealing that liposomal spray, when compared with saline spray, appears to delay the drying out of the eye.
Though these results are largely seen as promising, experts in the field like Mark E. Byrne, of the Biomedical Engineering department at Rowan University in New Jersey, would like another question to be answered: Do the contact lenses feel the same in the eye after wearing them for some time as they do when first put in place?
Ms. Stapleton points out that about half of the people who try wearing contact lenses give up because of eye discomfort, meaning that reducing dry eye and other conditions could widely expand the market –– and possibly result in healthier eyes for wearers of contact lenses.
Jason E. Compton OD FAAO