To demonstrate the capability of directly visualizing the tear film on contact lenses using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Six eyes of three healthy subjects wearing PureVision and ACUVUE Advance soft and Boston RGP hard contact lenses were imaged with a custom built, high speed, ultra-high resolution spectral domain optical coherence tomograph. Refresh Liquigel was used to demonstrate the effect of artificial tears on the tear film.
Ultra high resolution images of the pre- and post-lens films were directly visualized when each lens was inserted onto the eye. After the instillation of artificial tears during lens wear, the tear film was thicker. The post-lens tear film underneath the lens edge was clearly shown. Interactions between the lens edges and the ocular surface were obtained for each of the lens types and base curves. With a contrast enhancement agent, tear menisci on the contact lenses around the upper and lower eyelids were highlighted. With hard contact lenses, the tear film was visualized clearly and changed after a blink when the lens was pulled up by the lid.
Ultra-high resolution OCT is a potentially promising technique for imaging tears around contact lenses. This successful demonstration of in situ post-lens tear film imaging suggests that OCT could open a new era in studying tear dynamics during contact lens wear. The novel method may lead to new ways of evaluating contact lens fitting.