Contact lens discomfort may be due in part to meibomian morphology changes.

Contact lens discomfort may be due in part to meibomian morphology changes. Photo: Clare Halleran, OD, and Jennifer S. Harthan, OD. Click image to enlarge.

In an effort to more precisely pinpoint the relationship between contact lens wear and the meibomian glands (MG), researchers recently investigated the use of this modality in conjunction with MG morphology.

The study included 19 symptomatic (CLDEQ-8 score ≥12) contact lens wearers, 19 asymptomatic (CLDEQ-8 score <12) contact lens wearers and 22 non-contact lens wearers. Upper and lower eyelid meibography images were taken, and the following parameters were analyzed using semi-objective software in the central two-thirds of each eyelid: number of MG, number of partial MG, percentage of MG loss and percentage of tortuosity. The relationship between CLDEQ-8 and MG morphology was then explored.

No significant differences were found between groups in the MG morphology of the upper or lower eyelids. In all contact lens wearers, a significant correlation with CLDEQ-8 was found in the upper eyelid for the number of MG. In symptomatic wearers, significant correlations with CLDEQ-8 were found in the lower eyelid for the number and percentage of partial MG.

“Alterations in MG morphology, without clinically apparent alteration in MG function, can be involved in causing contact lens discomfort and influence the degree of symptoms,” the study authors wrote in their paper. “The differences in findings between eyelids indicate the need to monitor both eyelids, especially the lower one, in contact lens wearers.”

Blanco-Vázquez M, Arroyo-Del-Arroyo C, Novo-Diez A, et al. Is contact lens discomfort related to meibomian gland morphology? Cont Lens Anterior Eye. August 24, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].