Research Article| Volume 34, ISSUE 4, P169-172, August 2011

Download started.


Role of contact lenses in relieving ocular allergy

Published:April 29, 2011DOI:



      To examine the potential barrier and lubricating effects of modern daily disposable contact lenses (DD) against airborne antigens.


      Ten patients with skin prick and ocular conjunctival provocation confirmed allergic sensitivity to grass pollen were recruited (average age 27.4 ± 7.7 years). Each had their ocular symptoms (on a 0 none to 5 extreme scale) and appearance of bulbar and limbal conjunctival redness, palpebral conjunctival redness and roughness, and corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining (CCLRU scale) graded before and five minutes after exposure to 400 grains grass pollen/m3 for 2 min in a purpose-designed exposure chamber to simulate the conditions of a ‘very high’ pollen-count day. This was repeated on three occasions separated by >72 h wearing etafilcon A (sDD), nelfilcon A with enhanced lubricating agents (ELDD) and no contact lenses in random order out of the pollen season. Each sign and symptom was compared to baseline for each condition. The duration of the symptoms was also recorded ( NCT01125540).


      Only symptoms of burning and stinging were significantly reduced in severity by ELDD (Chi-Sq = 7.6, p = 0.02), but overall symptoms were significantly reduced in duration (F = 3.60, p = 0.05). Bulbar hyperaemia, corneal and conjunctival staining, and palpebral conjunctival roughness were significantly reduced by DD wear (p < 0.01), with limbal and palpebral conjunctival redness further reduced in ELDD (p < 0.05).


      Daily disposable contact lenses offer a barrier to airborne antigen which is enhanced by modern lenses with enhanced lubricating agents.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Contact Lens and Anterior Eye
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Bielory L.
        Ocular allergy treatment.
        Immunol Allergy Clin N Am. 2008; 28: 189-224
        • Donshik P.C.
        • Ehlers W.H.
        The contact-lens patient and ocular allergies.
        Int Ophthalmol Clin. 1991; 31: 133-145
        • Kari O.
        • Haahtela T.
        Is atopy a risk factor for the use of contact-lenses.
        Allergy. 1992; 47: 295-298
        • Lemp M.A.
        Contact lenses and associated anterior segment disorders: dry eye, blepharitis, and allergy.
        Ophthalmol Clin North Am. 2003; 16: 463-469
        • Lemp M.A.
        • Bielory L.
        Contact lenses and associated anterior segment disorders: dry eye disease, blepharitis, and allergy.
        Immunol Allergy Clin N Am. 2008; 28: 105-117
        • Helleboid L.
        Treatment of allergic conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis summary.
        Rev Fr Allergol Immunol Clin. 2004; 44: 71-75
        • Skoner D.P.
        Allergic rhinitis: definition, epidemiology, pathophysiology, detection, and diagnosis.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001; 108: S2-8
        • Bielory L.
        Ocular allergy overview.
        Immunol Allergy Clin N Am. 2008; 28: 1-23
        • Kumar P.
        • Elston R.
        • Black D.
        • Gilhotra S.
        • DeGuzman N.
        • Cambre K.
        Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and contact lens intolerance.
        CLAO J. 1991; 17: 31-34
        • Aakre B.M.
        • Ystenaes A.E.
        • Doughty M.J.
        • Austrheim O.
        • Westerfjell B.
        • Lie M.T.
        A 6-month follow-up of successful refits from daily disposable soft contact lenses to continuous wear of high-Dk silicone-hydrogel lenses.
        Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2004; 24: 130-141
        • Margolis R.
        • Thakrar V.
        • Perez V.L.
        Role of rigid gas-permeable scleral contact lenses in the management of advanced atopic keratoconjunctivitis.
        Cornea. 2007; 26: 1032-1034
        • Lemp M.A.
        Contact lenses and allergy.
        Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008; 8: 457-460
        • Begley C.G.
        • Riggle A.
        • Tuel J.A.
        Association of giant papillary conjunctivitis with seasonal allergies.
        Optom Vis Sci. 1990; 67: 192-195
        • Donshik P.C.
        • Porazinski A.D.
        Giant papillary conjunctivitis in frequent-replacement contact lens wearers: a retrospective study.
        Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1999; 97 (discussion): 216-220
        • Donshik P.C.
        • Ballow M.
        • Luistro A.
        Treatment of contact lens-induced giant papillary conjunctivitis.
        CLAO J. 1984; 10: 346-350
        • Venkatesh S.
        • Sizemore S.P.
        • Byrne M.E.
        Biomimetic hydrogels for enhanced loading and extended release of ocular therapeutics.
        Biomaterials. 2007; 28: 717-724
        • Brodsky M.
        • Berger W.E.
        • Butrus S.
        • Epstein A.B.
        • Irkec M.
        Evaluation of comfort using olopatadine hydrochloride 0.1% ophthalmic solution in the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis in contact lens wearers compared to placebo using the conjunctival allergen-challenge model.
        Eye Contact Lens. 2003; 29: 113-116
        • Nichols K.K.
        • Morris S.
        • Gaddie I.B.
        • Evans D.
        Epinastine 0.05% ophthalmic solution in contact lens-wearing subjects with a history of allergic conjunctivitis.
        Eye Contact Lens-Sci Clin Pract. 2009; 35: 26-31
        • Hayes V.Y.
        • Schnider C.M.
        • Veys J.
        An evaluation of 1-day disposable contact lens wear in a population of allergy sufferers.
        Contact Lens Anterior Eye. 2003; 26: 85-93
        • Antunes J.
        • Borrego L.
        • Romeira A.
        • Pinto P.
        Skin prick tests and allergy diagnosis.
        Allergol Immunopathol. 2009; 37: 155-164
        • Friedlaender M.H.
        Conjunctival provocation testing: overview of recent clinical trials in ocular allergy.
        Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002; 2: 413-417
        • Murphy P.J.
        • Lau J.S.C.
        • Sim M.M.L.
        • Woods R.L.
        How red is a white eye? Clinical grading of normal conjunctival hyperaemia.
        Eye. 2007; 21: 633-638
        • Emberlin J.
        Grass, tree and weed pollen.
        in: Kay A.B. Chapter 45 Allergy and allergic diseases. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008
        • Akan G.
        • Lemanske R.
        Allergic disease: pathophysiology and immunopathology.
        in: Lieberamn P. Anderson J. Allergic diseases. Diagnosis and treatment. 3rd ed. Humana Press, 2007
        • Gulsen D.
        • Chauhan A.
        Ophthalmic drug delivery through contact lenses.
        Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004; 45: 2342-2347
        • Mahomed A.
        • Tighe B.
        Contact lenses and comfort enhancers: in vivo and in vitro release of soluble PVA.
        Ophthalmic Res. 2004; 36: 34
        • Wolffsohn J.S.
        • Peterson R.C.
        • Nick J.
        • Winterton L.
        • Lally J.
        Clinical performance of daily disposable soft contact lenses using sustained release technology.
        Contact Lens Ant Eye. 2006; 29: 127-134
        • Winterton L.C.
        • Lally J.M.
        • Sentell K.B.
        • Chapoy L.L.
        The elution of poly (vinyl alcohol) from a contact lens: the realization of a time release moisturizing agent/artificial tear.
        J Biomed Mater Res. 2007; 80B: 424-432
        • Wolffsohn J.S.
        • Hunt O.A.
        • Choudhury A.
        Objective clinical performance of ‘comfort enhanced’ daily disposable soft contact lenses.
        Contact Lens Ant Eye. 2010; 33: 88-92
        • Armstrong R.A.
        • Eperjesi F.
        • Gilmartin B.
        The application of analysis of variance (ANOVA) to difference experimental designs in optometry.
        Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2002; 22: 248-256
        • Armstrong R.A.
        • Slade S.V.
        • Gilmartin B.
        An introduction to analysis of variance (ANOVA) with special reference to data from clinical experiments in optometry.
        Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2000; 20: 235-241
        • Higashihara H.
        • Yokoi N.
        • Mruyama K.
        • Kinoshita S.
        • Horie K.
        • Tsuge N.
        • et al.
        Effect of lachrymatory factor from onion on human tear secretion.
        Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004; 45: U330