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The Eye in Contact Lens Wear

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    The Eye in Contact Lens Wear. 2nd ed. Ed J R Larke. Pp 202. £27.50. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997 (paperback edition 1999). ISBN0-7506-4438-9

    This paperback edition of a book, first produced in 1985 and revised for reissue in 1997, is aimed at the contact lens practitioner seeking information regarding the effect of contact lenses on the eye. It not only offers chapters covering the anatomy of the eyelids, conjunctiva, tear film, anterior limbus, and cornea, but it also reviews various aspects of corneal and anterior segment physiology such as corneal swelling, epithelial behaviour, and sensation and the way these are affected by contact lens wear. Chapters discussing lens spoilation, infection, and cornea are contributed by other experts in the field. While the text is a detailed discussion on the basic science, both qualitative and quantitative, it also shows their relevance to clinical aspects of contact lens wear to the practitioner. Some chapters are in more depth than others, but the style is clear and accessible. The text is amply supported by illustrations, graphs, tables, and photographs. The discussion in each chapter is supported by scientific argument based on experimental evidence and the published literature. Some of the references quoted, however, are fairly historical and I was a little surprised that all of the references in some chapters were from before the mid- 1980s. I think the reader will also find that some of the data regarding pharmacological treatments have advanced since the time of writing.

    Nevertheless, the text maintains an authoritative and comprehensive discussion of the topics covered. In particular, the chapters regarding lens spoilation and contact lens related infection were very clear and concise reviews of the subjects. For those interested in basic sciences, there is detailed study of corneal physiology including an examination, with relevant equations, of the forces involved in maintaining corneal hydration. I felt, however, that the description of the contemporary understanding of glycosaminoglycans and collagen arrangement could have been expanded and illustrated further with diagrams. In the chapter regarding recovery from contact lens wear, there was also mention of the topography of the cornea without illustration or reference to modern topographical methodology which I am sure would have helped illustrate the points.

    I was disappointed at standard of the proof reading; some of the pharmacological terms and lens types were misspelt, and some of the legends were difficult to interpret without the main text.

    In all, this is an interesting book to read and use as a reference for basic understanding of the subject, but other readers must be mindful of modern trends in materials and clinical and investigational techniques not presented here. It does, however, review certain topics which are not easily available in other textbooks, but are of great value to the contact lens specialist.