The impact of patient behaviour and care system compliance on reusable soft contact lens complications
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Reusable soft daily wear contact lenses (CLs) remain popular and were fit to just over half of all wearers in the most recent international CL prescribing survey. Unlike daily disposable CLs, reusables require cleaning and disinfecting after every use, along with storage in a CL case. These additional requirements add a number of steps to the daily wear and care routine, increasing the opportunities for CL wearers to exhibit non-compliant behaviour. The impact of non-compliance ranges from poor lens comfort through to potentially sight-threatening infective keratitis. The coronavirus pandemic has refocused the profession on the importance of hand hygiene in particular, and the need for promoting safe CL wear in general. This review summarises typical non-compliant behaviour related to reusable CLs, and examines strategies and opportunities to better support wearers. Patient education has a central role in encouraging compliant behaviour, although patient recall of information is low, and personal belief systems may result in continuation of non-compliant behaviour despite awareness of the risks. CL care solutions are required for the daily disinfection of lenses, however misuse of multipurpose solutions (MPS) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-based care systems can challenge their ability to be fully efficacious. Standard efficacy testing is reviewed, with consideration of how well current protocols model real-world use of CL solutions. Although some recommendations are in place for the inclusion of additional variables such as lens cases, CL materials, organic soil and efficacy against Acanthamoeba, opportunity still exists to reevaluate global standards to ensure consistency of testing in all markets. Finally, potential future innovations are discussed which may further support increased safety in reusable lens wear through novel antimicrobial additions to both CL materials and cases.
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