You may want to think twice before putting a contact lens on myopes to get a better macular OCT image. Researchers from Israel report that for low to intermediate levels of myopia—with or without regular astigmatism—macular OCT imaging didn’t improve with the placement of a soft or gas permeable (GP) contact lens.

Their study, published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry, also found no added benefit in removing a spherical soft lens in habitual wearers prior to scanning.

The prospective study included 34 subjects who were approximately 27 years old with myopia or myopic astigmatism. The researchers imaged 12 patients in spherical soft contact lenses, eight non-contact lens wearers in a plano soft lens and 14 participants with significant astigmatism who wore a GP lens. For each group, the investigators compared image quality and macular thickness measurements between scans from the same eyes taken with and without a lens.

In the habitual spherical soft lens group, the image quality was similar in scans taken with and without a contact lens. The non–contact lens wearers’ image quality was slightly higher for scans acquired without lenses compared with those taken with a plano contact lens, while the GP group’s image quality was similar with and without a contact lens.

The study found no correlation between the power of the sphere and change in image quality in any of the three groups, nor were differences observed between OCT-derived macular thickness measurements from scans with and without a contact lens.

Additionally, the study found no correlation between the magnitude of cylinder and the change in the image quality in the habitual and GP contact lens groups. However, an inverse correlation was reported between cylinder power and change in the image quality in the plano lens group.

Aviram T, Beeri I, Berkow D, et al. The effect of contact lens wear on retinal spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Clin Exp Optom. March 30, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].