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Effects of scleral-lens oxygen transmissibility on corneal thickness: A pilot study.



To investigate the effect of various oxygen transmissibilities (Dk/t) of scleral lenses and corneal thickness recovery time from overnight eye closure with patching on corneal edema during 5 h lens wear.


Scleral lenses (hofocon A, 15.6 mm diameter) were worn bilaterally with three different Dks (100, 140, and 160 Barrer). Central and peripheral corneal thickness (CCT and PCT) were measured using optical coherence tomography. Four subjects were randomly selected for one additional visit and asked to patch one eye before night sleeping. The patch was not removed until lens insertion to avoid corneal deswelling. Then CCT of both eyes was measured.


Ten neophytes with healthy eyes participated in the study. Mean [95% CI] Dk/t of the study lenses was 32.0 [29.2, 34.7] hBarrer/cm. Mean [95% CI] CCT immediately upon lens insertion and after 5 h of lens wear were 532.4 [520.3, 544.5] μm and 538.7 [526.5, 551.0] μm, respectively. Mean [95% CI] percentage change (%Δ) in CCT was 1.2% [0.9%, 1.5%], 1.2% [0.9%, 1.4%], and 0.8% [0.6%, 1.1%] for CCT, nasal PCT, and temporal PCT, respectively. There was an inverse relationship between temporal Dk/t and %ΔPCT (p < 0.05) while Dk/t was not found significantly associated with either CCT or nasal PCT. The patched eyes maintained a relatively stable CCT and showed progressive deswelling, starting and ending with 2.8% and 0.6%, respectively. In contrast, the unpatched eyes swelled, starting with nearly 0% and ending with 0.7% with a maximum swelling of 1.8%.


There was limited amount of corneal edema induced by short-term scleral lens wear with lens Dk/t ranging from 21 to 47 hBarrer/cm and lenses with lower lens Dk/t did not induce significantly higher corneal swelling. Scleral lens insertion soon after overnight eye closure with patching did not introduce additional swelling for young and healthy eyes.

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