A sixteen year survey of Canadian contact lens prescribing
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PURPOSE: To understand long-term contact lens prescribing habits of Canadian optometrists. METHODS: One thousand optometrists were surveyed annually from 2000 to 2015. Information was requested on the first ten patients examined after receiving the survey. RESULTS: Over the 16-year survey period, 1987 optometrists provided information on 19,143 patients. Mean age of the patients was 32.7±14.4years. Ratio of females to males was 2:1, the ratio of new fits to refits was 2:3. Soft contact lenses represented 94.5% of all fits. Rigid lenses were more often used as a refit compared to a new fit. Over the 16 years, market share for silicone hydrogel materials grew from 0% to 69.6%, mid-water content materials declined from 75.7% to 14.1%. The multifocal market share grew at the expense of spherical designs, with no change in toric lens fitting. Monthly soft lens replacement remained the preferred option at 48.2%, followed by daily disposable at 40.8%; two-weekly replacement declined to less than10% of patients by 2015. Extended wear was likely used to refit and only to a small proportion of wearers, representing 2.6% of SCL by 2015. The lens care system of choice throughout the period was multipurpose solutions, although the proportion for peroxide systems more than doubled by 2015 from 9.6%, to 21.1%. CONCLUSIONS: Over the 16-year period, SCL material preference changed to silicone hydrogels with monthly replacement being preferred; daily disposables replacing 2-weekly as the alternate. Lens care preference continued to be multipurpose solutions. Rigid lenses appear to be sustained for specialist fitting.
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