Compliance with Lens Replacement and the Interval between Eye Examinations Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • PURPOSE: Eye care practitioners (ECPs) acknowledge that their patients do not always follow recommendations for lens replacement, but many may not realize the possible implications for their offices. The study was conducted to investigate whether there is a relationship between contact lens compliance and the interval between full eye examinations (IEE). METHODS: The study was conducted in ECP offices in the United States. Eye care practitioners and patients independently completed linked questionnaires, evaluating their contact lens wear and care. Patients were required to be current wearers of daily disposable (DD) lenses or reusable silicone hydrogel lenses with a manufacturer-recommended replacement frequency (MRRF) of 2 weeks (2WR) or 1 month (1MR). RESULTS: A total of 2147 questionnaires from 141 offices were eligible. Fifty-four percent of patients were wearing 2WR, 37% 1MR, and 9% DD lenses. Wearers of 2WR lenses were significantly less compliant with replacement than wearers of both DD and 1MR lenses (34% vs. 74% and 67%, both p < 0.001); patients purchasing an annual supply were more compliant (55% vs. 45%, p < 0.001). The mean IEE was 16 months and was longer for wearers who were noncompliant with the MRRF (17.4 months vs. 14.5 months, p < 0.001). Other factors affecting IEE were household income (p = 0.030), insurance (p < 0.001), purchase source (p < 0.001), and sex (p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Patients who were not compliant with the MRRF had longer IEEs and were less likely to purchase an annual supply of lenses. Patients who purchased lenses from their ECP, had a higher household income, had eye examination insurance, and were female had shorter IEEs. Patients failing to replace their lenses when scheduled were also found to be less compliant with lens care procedures. Eye care practitioners should reinforce the importance of all aspects of lens wear and care with their patients, with the overall aim of reducing possible complications and retaining successful contact lens wearers in their offices.

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publication date

  • April 2013