Recent research from UNSW's School of Optometry and Vision Science, highlighted in a feature article published by the American Academy of Optometry journal; Optometry and Vision Science, showed that wearers who experienced discomfort with their contact lenses had degraded lipids in their tear film and greater drying of their lenses compared with wearers without discomfort.
The study also showed that using a lipid containing eye spray reduced the drying of lenses and improved their comfort during six hours of lens wear, when compared with a control spray. There was also some evidence that use of the liposomal spray resulted in less lipid degradation in the tear film, which may help to stabilise the tear film and prevent lens drying.
Our next steps will be to conduct a larger study and to assess other lipid containing products to further evaluate the biochemical and clinical effects on the tear lipid layer. This will help to better understand the role of the tear lipid layer on eye dryness and to help make contact lens wear more comfortable for the 350 million wearers worldwide.