While researchers recently found that lid hygiene and daily disposable contact lenses are effective interventions to reduce contact lens discomfort and promote a healthier ocular surface in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) patients, the same cannot be said for artificial tears.

The study included 42 contact lens wearers (mean age: 23.2±4.9 years) with symptoms of lens discomfort. Patients with MGD were instructed to perform lid hygiene. All participants were fitted with a daily disposable contact lens and evaluated one month later. After, half were randomly assigned to use artificial tears (povidone 2%) at least three times per day and evaluated one month later.

The team tested lower tear meniscus area, bulbar, limbal and tarsal hyperemia, noninvasive tear break-up time (TBUT) and corneal and conjunctival staining. They created two clinical scores: (1) bulbar, limbal and tarsal hyperemia and corneal staining and (2) TBUT, lower tear meniscus area and conjunctival staining.

The investigators reported reduced mean CLDEQ-8 scores of -2.73±2.13 after lid hygiene and -10.1±3.54 after daily disposable use—but no changes with the addition of artificial tears. They added that the first clinical score did not change after any intervention, while the second was higher after lid hygiene and decreased after daily disposable use.

Arroyo-del Arroyo C, Fernández I, Novo-Diez A, et al. Contact lens discomfort management. Eye Contact Lens. July 7, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].