Effect of Eyelid Treatments on Bacterial Load and Lipase Activity in Relation to Contact Lens Discomfort

Jaya Sowjanya Siddireddy, Ajay K. Vijay, Jacqueline Tan, Mark Willcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives:To evaluate the effect of microblepharon exfoliation on the number of eyelid bacteria and their lipase activity and the relationship of these to contact lens discomfort.Methods:Thirty experienced contact lens wearers had their eyelid margin physiology, tear properties, and comfort scores assessed. The number, type, and frequency of lower eyelid margin bacteria, and their lipase activity, were measured. Eyelids were treated with a foam cleanser or microblepharon exfoliation. Clinical and microbiological tests were repeated at each visit. Changes and correlations were examined.Results:Symptomatic lens wearers had a higher ratio for the number and frequency of gram-positive rods and cocci. Microblepharon exfoliation reduced the number and ratio of gram-positive rods to cocci from baseline for symptomatic wearers that lasted 7 to 10 days after treatment (P<0.05). Numbers of bacteria, the ratio of rods to cocci, and lipase activity correlated with lash contamination (r≥0.385; P≤0.046) and anterior blepharitis (r≥0.359; P≤0.048). Bacterial lipase correlated with meibomian gland secretions (r=0.422; P=0.038) and the tear evaporation rate (r=0.479; P=0.022). Microblepharon exfoliation produced a significant reduction in CLDEQ-8 scores and converted 10 symptomatic into asymptomatic lens wearers.Conclusions:There was dysbiosis in the lid microbiome of symptomatic lens wearers. Microblepharon exfoliation reduced the number, frequency of isolation, and ratio of gram-positive rods and cocci. Bacterial numbers and their lipase production correlated with changes to clinical signs and symptoms. Symptomatic lens wearers could be converted to asymptomatic lens wearers after microblepharon exfoliation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalEye and Contact Lens
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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