The findings of this study indicate that patients could simultaneously be offered the individualized optical correction of wavefront-guided (WFG) lenses and the superior comfort afforded by polymer coatings. This could be helpful to patients with ectasia suffering ocular dryness or dependent on scleral lenses for lengthy periods of wear.
Wavefront-guided scleral lenses target lower- and higher-order aberrations of individual eyes using submicrometer-level contours in the anterior lens surface. Hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymer coatings applied to lens surfaces improve comfort and wettability. This study aimed to quantify aberration changes (e.g., masking) when applying polymer coatings to WFG and conventional scleral lenses.
Two control lenses (remained uncoated) and 14 experimental lenses (two repeated builds of seven aberration designs: one spherical, two coma, four full WFG [second- to fifth-order aberrations]) were manufactured, and aberrations were measured (mean of three) by two operators before and after coating. Root mean square (RMS) and visual image quality (logVSX) differences were calculated for 6-mm diameters.
Median RMS aberration change due to coating was 0.012 μm (range, 0.008 to 0.057 μm). Maximum logVSX change due to coating was 0.073, predicting an approximately one letter change in acuity. Instrument sensitivity was 0.002 μm. Acute instrument and operator variabilities (standard deviations of individual [second- to fifth-order Zernikes] were all <0.027 μm). Longitudinal variability (control lenses) was low: all less than 0.017 μm. Although RMS of differences between repeated builds of all lenses was less than 0.25 D and not statistically significant, relatively, manufacture constituted the major variability, and RMS difference between repeated builds was at least four times greater than the effect of coating (median, 0.167 μm; range, 0.088 to 0.312 μm).
Application of polymer coatings caused measurable changes in aberrations of WFG and conventional scleral lenses; however, these were clinically and statistically insignificant and within variability of repeated lens manufacture. In their current states, WFG lenses and polymer coatings could be used simultaneously.