To document outcomes associated with use of scleral contact lenses (SL) in the veteran population and analyze the medical and demographic factors that affect these outcomes, specifically those involved in contact lens discontinuation.
A retrospective study of consecutive patients first fitted with Jupiter Scleral lenses at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center between 2010 and 2018. The primary outcome was continuation of SL use at 1 year. Demographic factors and variables such as presence of comorbid diseases, improvement in visual acuity, and daily lens wear time were compared. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine which factors were associated with SL discontinuation.
One hundred twenty patients with a mean age of 56.7±15.1 years were fitted with SL during the study period. The most common diagnosis was corneal ectasia (55.8%). Sixty-six (55.0%) patients had difficulty with wear, the most common being ocular irritation (20.0%) and mid-day fogging or bubbles (15.8%). Forty-one patients (34.2%) discontinued SL use with a median time from fitting to discontinuation of 5.2 months. The most common reason for SL discontinuation was difficulty with insertion and removal (53.7%). Comorbid neurologic disease had a statistically significant association with discontinuation (odds ratio 4.6, 95% confidence interval 1.3–17, P=0.022). There were statistically significant differences in mean visual acuity improvement (P=0.003) and daily wear time (P<0.001) but not age (P=0.70) between patients who continued and discontinued lens use.
Scleral contact lenses are effective for treating a wide variety of ocular diseases and have positive outcomes in veterans. This study aids in understanding patient factors that affect outcomes of SL use in veterans. Further prospective studies are needed to make formal recommendations regarding candidate selection.