OGS-600X120-Above Article-Giving2023

Attend any lecture about dry eye and you will hear the “I” word, inflammation. It is well established that dry eye is an inflammatory condition. How about contact lens wear?

Ocular inflammation during contact lens wear is associated with serious complications such as microbial keratitis, however, there may be more subtle inflammatory mechanisms. [1] In a January 2017 publication, the authors propose that contact lens wear is intrinsically inflammatory and examined whether uncomplicated contact lens wear meets the classical and the contemporary clinical definitions of inflammation. The classical definition consists of rubor (redness), calor (heat), tumor (swelling), dolor (pain) and functio laesa (loss of function). Cellular and biochemical reactions define the contemporary, sub-clinical definition of inflammation.

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Melissa Barnett OD, FAAO, FSLS
Dr. Melissa Barnett is a Principal Optometrist at the UC Davis Eye Center in Sacramento. She is an internationally recognized key opinion leader, specializing in anterior segment disease and specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures and publishes extensively on topics including dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses and creating a healthy balance between work and home life for women in optometry. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry (ABCMO) and serves on the Board of American Optometric Association (AOA) Cornea and Contact Lens Council, Women of Vision (WOV), Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI), Ocular Surface Society of Optometry (OSSO) is Immediate Past President of The Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS). Dr. Barnett is a spokesperson for the California Optometric Association and a guest lecturer for the STAPLE program. She was awarded The Theia Award for Excellence for Mentoring by Women in Optometry (WO) in 2016.


  1. Fantastic! There is never a doubt. Contact lens wear is pro-inflammatory under the best of circumstances, especially when you throw solution chemistry into the mix. I am remembering Dr. Christine Sindt’s confocal microscopy work in this area. Langerhans and other inflammatory cells are up-regulated by contact lens wear.

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