Background: Subjects who wear soft contact lenses (SCL ) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) lenses have morphological changes of their conjunctival epithelial cells along with decreased goblet cell densities compared to non-contact lens wearers. The goal of this study was to evaluate the conjunctival epithelium and goblet cell density among successful rigid gas permeable (RGP) wearers compared to non-contact lens wearers.
Methods: A comprehensive questionnaire and history were used to determine that all subjects had no ocular complaints and to determine the contact lens use of the RGP wearers. Subjects had normal ocular health as determined by anterior segment biomicroscopy exam. Impression cytology (IC) was performed on all subjects to obtain a representative sample of conjunctival epithelium. The samples were stained and then analyzed using light microscopy.
Results: There were no differences in conjunctival epithelial morphology and goblet cell densities among RGP wearers and non-contact lens wearers.
Conclusions: Impression cytology is a powerful and recommended diagnostic tool in assessing the conjunctival epithelium of all patients wearing contact lenses or those considering a transition into contacts of any kind. This comparison of RGP wearers and non-contact lens wearers suggests that RGP lenses may be preferable to soft contact lenses when there is concern about ocular health.
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