The Protective Effects of Soft Contact Lenses for Contact Sports: A Novel Porcine Model for Corneal Abrasion Biomechanics

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Eye & contact lens


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine whether soft contact lenses provide protection for the corneal surface.

METHODS: Fresh porcine eyes were inflated to intraocular pressures of 11 to 22 mm Hg and secured to a Styrofoam head. Newton meters affixed with artificial acrylic nails were placed at angles of 0°, 45°, and 90° from a porcine corneal surface. The force of impact was recorded at which corneal abrasions were induced. The experiment was repeated with Senofilcon A and Lotrafilcon A soft contact lenses placed upon porcine eyes.

RESULTS: The mean forces required to induce a corneal abrasion with force at 0°, 45°, and 90° from corneal surface were 11±5.09, 9.18±2.76, and 7.72±2.61 Newtons, respectively. With soft contact lens barrier, the maximum measurable force of 50 Newtons could not produce a corneal abrasion.

CONCLUSION: The force required to create corneal abrasions varies depending on the angle of the force vector. The use of contact lenses can withstand a minimum of five times the average force needed to create corneal abrasions.

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ePub ahead of print