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Cataract progression in patients with atopic dermatitis.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the possible causes of cataract progression in Japanese patients with atopic dermatitis.

SETTING: Department of Ophthalmology, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.

METHODS: This prospective study comprised 41 patients (81 eyes) with atopic dermatitis. Cataract progression was determined by photographs and visual acuity results. Mean follow-up was 2.5 years (range 1.0 to 3.5 years).

RESULTS: Of 41 patients, 10 (24.4%) had progression of cataract. Of 81 eyes, 10 (12.3%) had slow progression and 9 (11.1%), rapid. Cataract progression was not statistically significantly related to patient sex or severity of systemic skin lesions but was to facial skin lesions. Soft contact lens wear and eye rubbing were also correlated with cataract progression.

CONCLUSION: Patients with facial atopic dermatitis, contact lenses, or both may rub their eyes more frequently than those with lesions on other body parts, increasing their risk of cataract progression.

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