Effect of contact lens surface properties on comfort, tear stability and ocular physiology

Maria Vidal-Rohr, James S. Wolffsohn*, Leon N. Davies, Alejandro Cerviño

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Retrospective analysis of different contact lens wearing groups suggests lens surface lubricity is the main factor influencing contact lens comfort. However, the examined commercially available contact lenses differ in material and design as well as surface properties. Hence this study isolates the contribution of lens surface properties using an ultra-thin coating technology. Methods: Nineteen habitual contact lens wearers (21.6. ±. 1.7years) wore formofilcon B soft monthly disposable contact lenses with and without coating technology modified surface properties for a month each in a randomised double-masked cross-over study. Objective non-invasive: breakup time (NIKBUT), NIKBUT average and ocular redness (Jenvis grading scale) were evaluated (Keratograph 5M) after 1 week and 1 month of wear. Symptoms were assessed using the Contact Lens Dry Eye Questionnaire (CLDEQ-8); perceived vision quality and subjective lens comfort at insertion, mid-day and end of the day were rated with four Visual Analog Scales. Results: Perceived visual quality (F = 5.049,p = 0.037), contact lens dry eye symptoms (F = 14.408,p = 0.001) and subjective lens comfort (F = 28.447,p. <. 0.001) were better for coated compared to uncoated lenses. The surface coating postponed the lens dewetting (F = 8.518,p = 0.009) and increased the pre-lens tear film stability (F = 5.626,p = 0.029), but bulbar (F = 0.340,p = 0.567) and limbal (F = 0.110,p = 0.744) redness were similar for both contact lenses. No parameter changed significantly between a weeks' and months' wear (p. >. 0.05). Lens surface wettability and ocular redness were not correlated to changes in symptoms (p. >. 0.05). Conclusion: As previously hypothesised, enhancing the physical surface properties of a soft contact lens improves subjectively rated wearer comfort, which, in turn, should result in reduced contact lens discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages17
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Issue number1
Early online date18 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2017 British Contact Lens Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by‐nc‐nd/4.0/

Funding: EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie
Skłodowska‐Curie grant agreement [grant number 642760].


  • Coating
  • Coefficient of friction
  • Discomfort
  • Lubricity
  • Soft contact lens
  • Tear film


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