LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures are typically safe and effective. But in some cases, undesired outcomes will occur – such as loss of best spectacle-corrected visual acuity, glare, haloes, ghost images, and reduced contrast sensitivity. Additional surgery may not be possible or may not be able to correct these problems. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses in managing undesired visual outcomes from refractive surgery.
A retrospective review of the records of 37 patients who were fit with contact lenses to correct vision problems after LASIK and other refractive surgeries was performed. A total of 67 eyes were evaluated and the most successful lens design for each patient was determined, based on visual acuity measurements. The therapeutic effect of contact lens wear on corneal regularity and symmetry was also evaluated.
Patients in the study had a mean uncorrected visual acuity of 20/40 after refractive surgery. The mean best spectacle-corrected visual acuity after surgery was 20/26. The mean visual acuity corrected with RGP contact lenses after refractive surgery was 20/20.
Wearing RGP contact lenses also improved corneal regularity and symmetry and resulted in improved uncorrected visual acuity between contact lens wearing periods. The mean uncorrected visual acuity upon removal of RGP contact lenses was 20/24. This corneal reshaping effect lasted from several hours to several days.
Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lens wear can significantly improve the visual acuity of patients with unsatisfactory outcomes from LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures. RGP contact lenses can also have a measurable therapeutic effect on vision after the lenses are removed.
Gemoules G. Therapeutic effects of contact lenses after refractive surgery. Eye & Contact Lens 2005;31:12-22.