Effectiveness of Water Gradient Technology for Preventing Meibomian Gland Loss with Silicone Hydrogel-Soft Contact Lens Use

Author(s): Hisataka Fujimoto, Shintaro Ochi, Yasushi Inoue, Junichi Kiryu

Purpose: Soft contact lenses (SCLs) are effective for refractive error correction, but prolonged wear results in discomfort and discontinuation. This study examined whether the water gradient technology in delefilcon A-based SCLs (which are silicone hydrogel (SH) SCLs) prevents meibomian gland (MG) injury.

Methods: This retrospective observational study included a total of 48 asymptomatic SCL users as follows: 23 delefilcon A users (46 eyes) and 29 narafilcon A users (58 eyes) (comparator conventional SCL group) without ocular comorbidities and previous use of ophthalmic treatment, except for anti-allergic eye drops or artificial tears. Data on the MGs were collected by infrared meibography. Measurements of the bare eye were recorded as follows: at visit 1 (v1) and at visit 2 (v2) after SCLs were worn for ≥5 h; v2 occurred 30 ± 5 days after v1.

Results: The area of the MG in the lower eyelid was significantly reduced at v2 compared to that at v1 in the narafilcon A group (46.6% at v1 and 44.5% at v2; P = 0.015). The area of the lower eyelid MG was not significantly reduced in the delefilcon A group (43.1% at v1 and 43.8% at v2; P > 0.05).

Conclusion: The water gradient technology used in delefilcon A may significantly reduce MG loss induced by SH-SCLs. The use of water gradient technology might alleviate MG injury caused by SHSCL use, prevent pathological tear dynamics, and improve lens performance.

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