Contact lens wearers often non-compliant

May 18, 2011

Contact lens wearers are significantly non-compliant in virtually all the active steps involved in soft contact lens wear, including hand washing, case hygiene, lens disinfection and following the recommended lens replacement schedule, according two online surveys sponsored by the Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Jacksonville, FL-Contact lens wearers are significantly non-compliant in virtually all the active steps involved in soft contact lens wear, including hand washing, case hygiene, lens disinfection, and following the recommended lens replacement schedule, according two online surveys sponsored by the Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

The two independent, sponsor-masked surveys were distributed online. The first survey consisted of a random sample of 645 frequent-replacement contact lens wearers. Questions in this survey included those relating to lens replacement frequency. The second survey was distributed to a random sample of 787 frequent-replacement contact lens wearers who answered questions relating to lens disinfection, hygiene, and replacement of the lens storage case. The respondents, aged 12 to 39 years old, represented wearers of hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses available in the United States that are prescribed for 2-week or monthly replacement.

Among the findings:
• Nearly one-half of the survey respondents admitted to not having washed their hands with soap prior to lens insertion in the morning (44%) and removal in the evening (49%). In addition, few patients rub their lenses with disinfecting solution (27% in morning, 25% in evening).

• Although 75% of the respondents reported that they emptied disinfecting solution from the lens case in the morning, only 46% reported that they then filled the lens case with fresh solution.

• The average frequency for cleaning the lens case was 2 to 3 times per week. Thirty percent of lens wearers reported cleaning them daily, while 33% said they cleaned their cases monthly or less often. In addition, most patients reported methods of cleaning the lens case that involved exposure to tap water.

• Lens wearers also slip in the frequency of replacement of their storage cases, even when they seem to know it should occur more often. The median interval for intended and actual replacement of the lens storage case was 4 to 6 months; however, 48% said they replace the storage case annually or less often.

Co-author Sheila Hickson-Curran, BSc (Hons), MCOptom, FAAO, director of medical affairs, Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., added that the results of the lens replacement survey indicated generally low compliance with practitioner recommendation on lens replacement frequency. To maximize the likelihood of replacement compliance, she recommended steps including strong doctor recommendation, written instruction, and reinforcement at every patient visit.

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