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A Survey of Contact Lens Complications in Singapore

Teo, Livia M.R.C.S.Ed., M.Med.; Lim, Li F.R.C.S.Ed.; Tan, Donald T.H. F.R.C.S.Ed.; Chan, Tat-Keong F.R.C.S.Ed.; Jap, Aliza F.R.C.S.Ed.; Ming, Lee Hung F.R.C.S.Ed.

doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3182048f99

Objectives: To describe the type of complications related to contact lens wear seen in a hospital setting in Singapore.

Methods: Data were collated over a 2-year period from April 1999 to March 2001, from all public hospitals in Singapore. A standardized clinical record form was completed by the attending doctor when a patient presented for contact lens-related complications.

Results: Nine hundred and fifty-three contact lens-related complications were recorded. The mean age of presentation was 26.4 years. Women made up the majority n=491 (68%). Most patients were Chinese (555, 77%). Six hundred and seventy-six (93.7%) patients were soft contact lens wearers. Most patients, 585 patients (85.2%) wore their lenses on a daily basis. Two hundred and forty-four cases (25.6%) of infective keratitis were seen, with 55 patients requiring hospital admission for management of the infection. Soft disposable contact lens wear was associated with the majority of the infective keratitis (178, 73%). Epithelial keratitis occurred in 229 patients (24.0%) with punctuate epithelial erosions being the commonest presentation in 139 (14.6%). Allergic conjunctivitis occurred in 179 (18.8%) of the cases with giant papillary conjunctivitis accounting for 147 (15.4%) of them. Dry eyes (77, 8.1%), sterile infiltrates (71, 7.5%) and neovascularization of the cornea (75, 7.9%) were the next commonest complications seen. Corneal edema, solution- and lens-related complications occurred in small numbers, accounting for less than 5% of the complications reported.

Conclusion: Infective keratitis secondary to soft lens wear was the most common complication, followed by epithelial keratitis and allergic conjunctivitis seen in public hospitals in Singapore.

From the Singapore National Eye Centre (L.T., L.L., D.T.H.T., T.K.C., A.J.), Singapore; Singapore Eye Research Institute (L.T., L.L., D.T.H.T., T.K.C., A.J.), Singapore; Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (D.T.H.T.), National University of Singapore, Singapore; Department of Ophthalmology (A.J.), Changi General Hospital, Singapore; and Department of Ophthamology (L.H.M.), Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Lim Li, F.R.C.S.Ed., Cornea Service, Singapore National Eye Centre, 11 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168751; e-mail:

Accepted October 31, 2010.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.