Patient attitudes and behavior regarding hygiene and replacement of soft contact lenses and storage cases.Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2011 Oct; 34(5):207-15.CL
To review important aspects of contact lens compliance and to survey contact lens replacement frequency, steps in lens care and hygiene and replacement of the lens storage case via online surveys.
Random US samples (n=645 and 787) of frequent replacement contact lens wearers answered questions on contact lens wear in online, sponsor-masked surveys.
Wearers of lenses prescribed by their practitioner for 2 weekly replacement reported that they replaced lenses as follows: within 2 weeks 45%, within 3 weeks (minor stretching) 68%, within 4 weeks 89%, ≥8 weeks (extreme stretching) 4%, compared to Monthly wearers who reported: within 4 weeks 37%, within 5 weeks (minor stretching) 57%, ≥8 weeks 23% (≥8 weeks extreme stretching, Chi-square p=0.001). Median frequency for cleaning lens storage case was 2-3 times per week, while 33% reported cleaning monthly or less often. Median lens storage case replacement was every 4-6 months, while 48% reported annual replacement or less often. Most patients cleaned their lens case with hot or cold tap water (72%).
These internet surveys revealed significant non-compliance with lens care steps, case hygiene and lens replacement schedule. More than half of the contact lens wearers surveyed were not compliant with their 2-weekly or monthly schedule. Lenses prescribed for longer replacement intervals can lead to more extreme stretching of lens life. To encourage better patient habits, eye care providers should reinforce their recommended frequency of replacement of lenses and storage cases and should reinforce care and hygiene steps at each patient visit.