The effect of artificial tears on visual performance in normal subjects wearing contact lenses

William H. Ridder*, Alan Tomlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Disruption of the anterior refracting surface of the eye reduces visual performance. In the case of a contact lens wearer, this surface is the prelens tear film. This study determined whether artificial tears stabilize the tear film in contact lens wearers and maintained optimal visual performance for a prolonged period.
Five normal subjects all in good general and ocular health and adapted to contact lens wear were fitted with Acuvue lenses. A temporal, two-alternative, forced-choice paradigm was used to measure contrast sensitivity. The stimuli were vertically oriented sine-wave gratings (between 0.5 and 14 cpd) presented for 16.67 ms. The stimuli were presented at two different times after blink detection: 2 s after blink detection (i.e., before tear layer break-up) or 4 s after tear film break-up. Three conditions were investigated at 4 s after tear layer break-up: (1) without artificial tears added, (2) with Clerz2 (Ciba Vision) instilled, and (3) with Sensitive Eyes (Bausch & Lomb) applied. The artificial tears were instilled at 10-min intervals during the experimental run.
Results. High spatial frequency contrast sensitivity was found to be reduced after tear film break-up and was not enhanced by either tear solution.
This study indicates that there is no effect of Clerz2 or Sensitive Eyes in maintaining or improving visual performance beyond the normal prelens tear film break-up time in normal subjects wearing Acuvue lenses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-831
Number of pages6
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • Artificial tears
  • Contact lens
  • Drying
  • Tear layer break-up
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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