Therapeutic contact lenses are useful in a variety of ocular surface diseases. Their main indications are: to relieve the pain; protect ocular surface; promote corneal healing and epithelial regeneration; seal a leaking corneal wound and deliver ophthalmic drugs on the ocular surface. There are several kinds of lens designs and materials, and their choice is dependent on the specific disease to be treated, the duration of treatment and the physiologic needs of the diseased cornea. Bullous keratopathy, recurrent epithelial erosion syndrome, dry eye and postoperative epithelial defects are amongst their indications. Therapeutic contact lenses should not be indicated in the presence of active infectious keratitis or when the patient is not compliant. Corneal neovascularization, giant papillary conjunctivitis and infectious keratitis are serious complications, which can be prevented by correctly fitting and maintaining the therapeutic contact lenses. Silicon-hydrogel therapeutic contact lenses, due to their higher oxygen permeability, allow extended wear schedules, decreasing the need for frequent lens replacement.
Contact lenses, hydrophilic; Hydrogels; Silicones; Epithelium, corneal; Wound healing; Keratitis; Photorefractive keratectomy; Visual acuity