Visual Performance of Contact Lens-Corrected Ametropic Aviators with the M-43 Protective Mask
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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This study investigated the use of extended wear soft contact lenses with the Apache aviators M-43 protective mask. Visual functions tests high and low contrast, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, color vision, visually-based cognitive tests, and user-comfort questionnaires were employed with normally sighted aviators and with aviators fitted with hydrogel soft contact lenses. Tests were administered shortly before donning the mask, immediately after donning the mask, and at hourly intervals, over the course of the next four hours of continuous mask were. Physiological function tear break-up time, tear production, slit lamp examination was assessed before donning the mask and directly after its removal. Study results indicated, for some subjects in both groups, the presence of subjective discomfort from M-43s airflow around the eyes and mildly the presence of subjective discomfort from the M-43s airflow around the eyes and mildly increased conjunctival injection redness. However, no significant changes in visual function, cognitive performance, or physiological function were observed in either group as a result of wearing the mask. These data confirm previous work indicating acceptable visual performance with the M-43 mask and indicate that extended wear soft contact lenses can be worn with the M-43 protective mask without degrading selected aspects of visual performance.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Protective Equipment