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One of the most common cause of corneal neovascularization is contact lens wear, especially those made with older hydrogel contact lens materials such as HEMA (2-hydroxy-ethyl methacrylate) for both daily and extended wear. Such older hydrogel materials have a relatively low oxygen transmissibility so the cornea ends up being starved of oxygen hence the response of the ingress of blood capillaries into the clear cornea to satisfy that oxygen demand.
Modern rigid gas permeable and silicon hydrogel contact lenses have a much higher level of oxygen transmissibility, making them effective alternatives to help prevent corneal neovascularization. Veteran contact lens wearers can be relieved within a few days simply by removing their lenses if the condition is not too severe.
In advanced stages, corneal neovascularization can threaten eyesight, which is why eye routine (annual) exams are recommended for contact lens patients.
- Riazi-Esfahani, M; Peyman, GA; Aydin, E; Kazi, AA; Kivilcim, M; Sanders, DR (August 2006). "Prevention of corneal neovascularization: evaluation of various commercially available compounds in an experimental rat model.". Cornea 25 (7): 801–5. doi:10.1097/01.ico.0000220768.11778.60. PMID 17068457.
- Usui, T.; Sugisaki, K.; Iriyama, A.; Yokoo, S.; Yamagami, S.; Nagai, N.; Ishida, S.; Amano, S. (2008). "Inhibition of Corneal Neovascularization by Blocking the Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor". Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 49 (10): 4370–4376. doi:10.1167/iovs.07-0964. PMID 18829859.