Effect of lens wear on corneal stroma: preliminary findings

Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. Jun-Aug 1999;27(3-4):211-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1606.1999.00205.x.


Purpose: The aim of the study was to measure the effects of long-term extended wear of hydrogel lenses.

Methods: Nine subjects wearing disposable hydrogel lenses and age- and sex-matched non-lens-wearing control subjects were enrolled. Using confocal microscopy, stromal keratocyte cell densities were measured.

Results: Anterior stromal keratocyte density was reduced in the lens-wearing group (544+/-206 cells/mm2) compared to the non-lens-wearing group (804+/-145 cells/mm2) (P < 0.01). Posterior stromal keratocyte density was lower in the lens-wearing group (514+/-111 cells/mm2) than in the control group (628+/-101 cells/mm2) (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: These preliminary findings indicate that extended wear of hydrogel lenses reduces stromal keratocyte density. The mechanisms for this alteration may include hypoxic, cytokine-mediated or mechanical effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Count
  • Contact Lenses, Extended-Wear / adverse effects*
  • Corneal Edema / etiology
  • Corneal Edema / pathology
  • Corneal Stroma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate / adverse effects*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Reference Values


  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate