To assess the stability of dryness symptoms after refitting patients wearing low-Dk/t hydrogel contact lenses with high-Dk/t silicone hydrogel contact lenses and to determine whether early dryness symptoms were predictive of discontinuation in the 3-year study.
Two hundred seventy-eight hydrogel lens wearers were refitted with lotrafilcon A silicone hydrogel contact lenses for continuous wear of up to 30 nights. Self-administered questionnaires at baseline, 1 week, and 3 years captured the frequency and intensity of dryness symptoms during the day and at the end of the day. One-week and 3-year responses were compared to baseline by a Bowker test of symmetry and median change in response with Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Frequency of during-the-day and end-of-day dryness decreased from baseline to 1 week and 3 years (during the day, frequency ≥ “sometimes” 57.1% vs. 33.1% after 1 week and 58.5% vs. 28.8% after 3 years; end of day, 61.1% vs. 41.0% after 1 week and 64.0% vs. 35.9% after 3 years [P<0.0001 for all comparisons]). After refitting, the proportion of subjects with dryness symptoms was stable. After 1 week, the presence of frequency of at least “sometimes” and severity of at least “moderate” during-the-day and end-of-day dryness were significantly associated with study discontinuation (during-the-day frequency [P=0.007] and severity [P=0.017]; end-of-day frequency [P=0.002] and severity [P=0.003]).
Dryness symptoms improved after 1 week of refitting with lotrafilcon A and remained stable through 3 years. The presence of dryness after 1 week was associated with discontinuation from contact lens wear. Refitting with silicone hydrogel lenses reduced the frequency and severity of dryness symptoms seen with hydrogel lens wear for many subjects.