This study compared advantages and disadvantages of using a topical anesthetic while fitting twenty first time RGP contact lens wearers. Changes in attitude and corneal health were compared between subject groups. The experimental group received one drop of 0.5% proparacaine OU just prior to initial lens insertion while the control group received a placebo drop. Anesthetic was used at the fitting visit only. Corneal health was established prior to subjects being fit with lenses, immediately after being fit, and then again monitored at one week and one month of lens wear. Subjects answered questionnaires before and immediately after being fit with RGP lenses. Follow-up questionnaires were then answered at one week and one month of lens wear to assess differences in adaptation and attitude. Results indicated that subjects receiving anesthetic required less time to be fit and were more likely to be confident about their chances for becoming successful rigid lens wearers. No significantly adverse effects to corneal health or integrity were noted. Preliminary data from one week and one month follow-up visits indicated that subjects receiving anesthetic may be more likely to feel adapted to their lenses within two weeks. We have suggested, baring any outward contraindication, that anesthetic can be advantageous when used with unusually tense or apprehensive patients.
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