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Eye Contact Lens. 2003 Jan;29(1 Suppl):S90-2; discussion S115-8, S192-4.

Tear exchange and oxygen reservoir effects in silicone hydrogel systems.

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  • 1College of Optometry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43218-2342, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The effects of oxygen reservoir and tear exchange are known for conventional hydrogel contact lenses. This study attempted to (1) confirm their presence in lenses of a silicone hydrogel (SH) material and (2) evaluate their individual and combined contributions to hypoxic relief of the cornea.

METHODS:

Corneal oxygen uptake rates were measured polarographically for 10 OD corneas immediately after 300-sec periods (equivalent to 60+ blink cycles) of: (1) nonblink wear of a 0 Dk/L polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cap lens; (2) nonblink wear of that cap lens with a SH lens inserted between it and the cornea; (3) regular blinked wear of that same lens combination; (4) nonblinked wear of the SH lens alone; and (5) normal open-eye, non-lens wear. The rates for each eye had a ratio with its own baseline (no lens) rate, and the total sample mean was calculated for each condition from those individual eye means.

RESULTS:

(1) Under nonblink conditions, a 28% reduction in corneal oxygen demand was observed when a SH lens was inserted under the PMMA cap lens versus without. (2) When regular blinking was added to that lens combination, corneal oxygen demand decreased another 8%, for a total of 36%. The combination of SH insertion and blinking did achieve a statistically significant difference (P<0.05 by the Dunnett test) from the nonblink, 0 Dk/L, maximum deprivation condition.

CONCLUSION:

The statistically significant hypoxia reduction observed with the SH lens insertion and blinking indicates the additive presence of two factors: (1) a lens reservoir effect caused by the SH lens and (2) a bulk-flow tear exchange effect caused by blinking. Their respective contributions to the reduction of corneal oxygen demand over the period studied were found to be in the ratio of 3.4:1.

PMID:
12772740
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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