TFOS Lifestyle: Impact of contact lenses on the ocular surface
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Several lifestyle choices made by contact lens wearers can have adverse consequences on ocular health. These include being non-adherent to contact lens care, sleeping in lenses, ill-advised purchasing options, not seeing an eyecare professional for regular aftercare visits, wearing lenses when feeling unwell, wearing lenses too soon after various forms of ophthalmic surgery, and wearing lenses when engaged in risky behaviors (e.g., when using tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs). Those with a pre-existing compromised ocular surface may find that contact lens wear exacerbates ocular disease morbidity. Conversely, contact lenses may have various therapeutic benefits. The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impinged upon the lifestyle of contact lens wearers, introducing challenges such as mask-associated dry eye, contact lens discomfort with increased use of digital devices, inadvertent exposure to hand sanitizers, and reduced use of lenses. Wearing contact lenses in challenging environments, such as in the presence of dust and noxious chemicals, or where there is the possibility of ocular trauma (e.g., sport or working with tools) can be problematic, although in some instances lenses can be protective. Contact lenses can be worn for sport, theatre, at high altitude, driving at night, in the military and in space, and special considerations are required when prescribing in such situations to ensure successful outcomes. A systematic review and meta-analysis, incorporated within the review, identified that the influence of lifestyle factors on soft contact lens dropout remains poorly understood, and is an area in need of further research. Overall, this report investigated lifestyle-related choices made by clinicians and contact lens wearers and discovered that when appropriate lifestyle choices are made, contact lens wear can enhance the quality of life of wearers.
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