Aim: Lid eversion is an essential component of contact lens aftercare. Hence, this study determined the best method of lid eversion based on three criteria: comfort, speed of administration and the area of the palpebral conjunctiva exposed. Method: Twenty-five participants (aged 20–34) had 6 different techniques applied in random order by the same clinician on two separate occasions: three involving a cotton bud placed on the extended upper eyelid either centrally, at the top of the tarsal plate or off-centre; one using the wooden end of the bud placed at the top of the tarsal plate; one using the clinician's index finger to evert the lid; and one using a silicone rubber, finger-shaped substitute. The participants judged the degree of discomfort of each technique on a visual analogue scale. The time to complete the task was timed with a stop-watch and the area of exposed palpebral conjunctiva was captured with a digital slit lamp and assessed using image analysis. Results: There was no difference between the initial lid eversion or subsequent repeat in terms of comfort (F = 0.304, p = 0.586), time to complete (F = 3.075, p = 0.092) or area exposed (F = 2.311, p = 0.142). Lid eversion using fingers alone or the silicone substitute everter were similar in comfort (p = 0.312), being the most comfortable methods, with off-centre cotton bud eversion or the wooden end of the cotton bud the least comfortable techniques (F = 17.480, p < 0.001). The quickest method to perform was the wooden end of the cotton bud, followed by the silicone everter (F = 17.522, p < 0.001). The area of exposed palpebral conjunctiva was greatest using the silicone everter (F = 28.199, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Lid eversion had repeatable results, with the silicone everter placed at the top of the tarsal plate the most comfortable for the patient, quick to perform and exposed a greater area of tarsal plate than other techniques and therefore is recommended to clinicians.
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- Lid eversion
- Palpebral conjunctiva
- Tarsal plate
- Upper lid