Background: Soft contact lens wear can induce changes in the appearance of tarsal conjunctiva. However, no studies have compared the appearance of tarsal conjunctiva between contact lens wearers and non contact lens wearers in a sample population.
Aims and Objective: To determine differences in the appearance of tarsal conjunctiva between contact lens and non contact lens wearers in a sample population in Kuala Lumpur.
Methods: This is a cross sectional study involving 80 subjects which consisted of 40 contact lenses wearers and 40 non-contact lenses wearers. All subjects were free from any ocular or systemic illnesses. The upper eyelid was everted and examined using slit lamp biomicroscope with camera attachment. Three photos were taken in each subject and the tarsal redness and roughness were graded following the IER grading scale.
Results: The gender distribution was 85% females and 15% males with mean age of 22.15 ± 1.28 years. Mean of redness and roughness grades for contact lenses wearers were 2.12 ± 0.47 units and 1.34 ± 0.43 units respectively. Mean of redness and roughness grades for noncontact lenses wearers were 1.40 ± 0.41 units and 0.86 ± 0.19 units accordingly. There were significant differences in redness grades (Mann-Whitney, z = -6.030; p <0.05) and roughness grades (Mann-Whitney, z = -6.429; p < 0.05) between both groups.
Conclusion: The results indicate that soft disposable contact lens wear causes changes in the appearance of tarsal conjunctiva. The findings emphasize the need for follow up examination to prevent worsening of the condition.