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Contact Lens Care Solutions: A Pilot Study of Ethnic Differences in Clinical Signs and Symptoms

Lin, Meng C. O.D., Ph.D.; Yuen, Jenny O.D.; Graham, Andrew D. M.A.

doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000034

Objectives: To determine whether Asian and white subjects differ in clinical signs or subjective symptoms in response to the use of different biguanide-preserved contact lens care solutions.

Methods: Forty-two subjects (15 Asian and 27 white) wearing lotrafilcon B silicone hydrogel contact lenses used a preservative-free lens care solution bilaterally for 2 weeks, then used two biguanide-preserved solutions (solution 1: ReNu MPS; solution 2: AQuify MPS) contralaterally in randomly assigned eyes for 4 weeks. Comprehensive ocular surface examinations were performed and symptomatology questionnaires were administered every 2 weeks. Investigators were masked as to solution assignment during examinations, whereas subjects were not to avoid potential difficulties in compliance with the protocol.

Results: With solution 1, most Asian and white subjects had grade 2 or greater corneal staining after 2 weeks (67% and 59%, respectively) and 4 weeks (60% and 67%, respectively). With solution 2, grade 2 or greater corneal staining occurred in 40% of Asians after 2 weeks and in 13% after 4 weeks, but in only 4% of whites after 2 weeks and 0% after 4 weeks. Whites reported significantly better average comfort (P=0.046) and less dryness (P<0.001) than did Asians.

Conclusions: Asians and whites differ in both ocular response to the use of contact lens care solutions and in reporting subjective symptoms. Racial and ethnic differences should be considered when evaluating and treating contact lens patients in a clinical setting.

Clinical Research Center, School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, CA.

Address correspondence to Meng C. Lin, O.D., Ph.D., Clinical Research Center, School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-2020; e-mail:

Supported in part by NIH Grant K12 EY017269, the UCB-CRC unrestricted research fund contributed by Carl Zeiss Vision, CIBA VISION, CooperVision, the Morton D. Sarver Foundation, and the Roberta J. Smith research fund.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Accepted March 17, 2014

© 2014 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.