Article Date: 1/1/2005

contact lens materials
Meeting Patient Needs with Silicone Hydrogel Soft Lenses

In my November 2004 Contact Lens Colloquy column, I discussed the importance of oxygen to the soft lens patient. The chronic lack of adequate oxygen to the cornea can cause many signs and symptoms of corneal oxygen deficiency. This month, I'd like to review these signs and symptoms, which we all see in clinical practice.

Symptoms of Deficiency

A few of the most common symptoms that I hear from my soft lens patients are:

Signs of Deficiency

Following are some of the many clinical signs of corneal oxygen deficiency:

Tackling the Deficiency Problem

We now have the tools to potentially address the signs and symptoms of corneal oxygen deficiency: hyper-Dk/t silicone hydrogel contact lenses. As responsible eyecare practitioners, we should choose these lenses for the majority of our patients because:

Ideal for Other Conditions

In addition to the clinical signs of corneal oxygen deficiency, many clinicians recommend silicone hydrogel lenses for the following patients:

Note: The FDA hasn't approved all silicone hydrogel lenses for all of the above-mentioned clinical uses.

With Open Arms

With all of their benefits and indications, why aren't silicone hydrogel contact lenses the lens of choice for the majority of our patients? This material is the future of contact lenses. We all need to adopt this new technology for the benefit of our contact lens patients.

Dr. Ghormley is in private practice in St. Louis, MO. He is a past president of the American Academy of Optometry and is a Diplomate of its Cornea & Contact Lens Section.


Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: January 2005