The objectives of this study were to assess current recommendations for replacement frequency (RF) of silicone hydrogel (SH) and daily disposable (DD) lenses, to determine compliance with these recommendations, and to investigate the reasons given for noncompliance.
A package containing 20 patient surveys was sent to 309 eye care practitioners (ECPs) in the United States who had agreed to participate in the study. One thousand eight hundred fifty-nine completed surveys were received from 158 ECPs and 1,654 surveys were eligible for analysis. Questions related to patient demographics, lens type, lens wearing patterns, the ECP instructions for RF, and the actual patient reported RF. ECPs were asked to provide lens information and their recommendation for RF after the surveys had been completed and sealed in envelopes. All responses were anonymous.
Sixty-six percent of patients were women and their mean age was 34 ± 12 years. Eighty-eight percent of lenses were worn for daily wear, 12.8 ± 3.2 hours a day, 6.2 ± 1.5 days a week. Lens type distribution was 16% DD, 45% 2 week (2W) SH, and 39% 1 month (1M) SH. ECP recommendations for RF varied according to the lens type; 1% of 1M (95% CI 0.2–1.7), 4% of DD (95% CI 2.1–7.2), and 18% of 2W (95% CI 15.1–20.7) patients were given instructions that did not conform to the manufacturers’ recommended RF (MRRF). When considering only those patients who were given the correct instructions for RF, 38% were not compliant with the MRRF; noncompliance rates varied according to the lens type and were 12% for DD (95% CI 8.6–17.2), 28% for 1M (95% CI 24.9–32.1), and 52% for 2W (95% CI 47.8–55.8). The most frequent reasons for over wearing lenses were “forgetting which day to replace lenses” (51%) and “to save money” (26%). Fifty-three percent believed that a reminder system would aid compliance; the most popular methods being a cell phone reminder or text message (29%) and a nominated day each week or month (26%). Discussions between the ECPs and the patients were more extensive for patients who were compliant with the MRRF.
ECPs recommended RFs more frequently with DD and 1M SH lenses than with 2W SH lenses, consistent with manufacturers’ recommendations. Patients were less compliant with RF than ECPs for all lens types investigated. Patients were most compliant with RF when wearing DD lenses and least compliant when wearing 2W SH lenses. Better communication facilitated greater compliance with RF. More than half of those not replacing lenses, when recommended, reported that this was because they forgot which day to replace their lenses.
Centre for Contact Lens Research (K.D., C.W., L.J., D.F.), School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada; and Clinical Psychologist (D.B.S.), Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
This study was supported by CIBA Vision Corporation.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Kathy Dumbleton, Centre for Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted April 29, 2009.