[Disposable Contact Lenses and Their Complications]

Wien Med Wochenschr. 1997;147(12-13):295-7.
[Article in German]


Disposable soft contact lenses (DSCLs) have been marketed as a safer alternative to conventional soft lenses. Extended-wear DSCLs are designed for one or two weeks of continuous use before disposal. Those for daily wear are designed for use as conventional daily wear soft lenses, with daily removal and storage for 2 to 4 weeks before disposal. Beside minor complications, such as corneal abrasion, giant papillary conjunctivitis and toxic epithelial reactions to contact lens solutions, the most serious complication occurring in contact lens users is ulcerative keratitis. Several case-control studies performed over the last years, demonstrated that disposable contact lenses were associated with a 14-fold excess risk of ulcerative keratitis compared with that for patients wearing conventional daily-wear soft contact lenses and a 13-fold excess risk compared with that for wearers of rigid gas permeable contact lenses. However, the major risk factor for corneal ulceration in contact lens wearers is overnight lens wear of 1 to 3 nights. It was estimated that 49 to 74% of cases of contact lens associated ulcerative keratitis could be prevented by eliminating overnight wear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contact Lenses, Extended-Wear*
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic*
  • Contraindications
  • Corneal Ulcer / etiology
  • Disposable Equipment*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / rehabilitation*