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Evaluation of surface water characteristics of novel daily disposable contact lens materials, using refractive index shifts after wear

Authors Schafer J, Steffen R, Reindel W, Chinn J

Received 13 June 2015

Accepted for publication 4 August 2015

Published 22 October 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1973—1979

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S90376

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Yang Liu

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Jeffery Schafer,1 Robert Steffen,1 William Reindel,1 Joseph Chinn2

1Vision Care, Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Rochester, NY, USA; 2J Chinn LLC, Lafayette, CO, USA

Purpose: Contact lens wearers today spend much time using digital display devices. Contact lens manufacturers are challenged to develop products that account for longer periods of time where blink rate is reduced and tear-film evaporation rate is increased, affecting both visual acuity and comfort. Two manufacturers recently introduced novel daily disposable contact lenses with high surface water content. The objective of the present study was to compare surface water characteristics before and after initial wear of recently introduced nesofilcon A and delefilcon A high surface water lenses with those of etafilcon A lenses.
Patients and methods: Twenty healthy subjects wore each of the three lens types studied in a randomly determined order for 15 minutes. After each wearing, lenses were removed and the surface refractive index (RI) of each lens was immediately measured.
Results: The mean RI of the unworn delefilcon A lens was 1.34, consistent with water content in excess of 80%. After 15 minutes of wear, the surface RI shifted to 1.43, consistent with its reported 33% bulk water content. In contrast, the mean surface RI of the nesofilcon A lens was 1.38, both initially and after 15 minutes of wear, and that of the etafilcon A lens was 1.41 initially and 1.42 after 15 minutes of wear.
Conclusion: The surface of the delefilcon A lens behaves like a high water hydrogel upon insertion but quickly dehydrates to behave like its low-water silicone-hydrogel bulk material with respect to surface water content during wear, while both nesofilcon A and etafilcon A lenses maintain their water content during initial wear. The nesofilcon A lens appears unique among high water lenses in maintaining high surface and bulk water content during wear. This is important because changes in surface RI due to dehydration are reported to lead to visual aberration affecting user experience.

Keywords:
contact lens dehydration, poloxamer, visual acuity, wetting

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