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Frequency of and Factors Associated With Contact Lens Dissatisfaction and Discontinuation

Richdale, Kathryn OD, MS; Sinnott, Loraine T PhD; Skadahl, Elisa BS; Nichols, Jason J OD, MPH, PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.ico.0000248382.32143.86
Clinical Science

Purpose: To determine the frequency of and factors associated with contact lens dissatisfaction and discontinuation.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 730 subjects was conducted using a self-administered survey instrument. The survey collected information about present age and sex, history of contact lens wear, types of lenses worn, age at starting wear, current wearing schedule (hours per day, days per week), self-perceived contact lens satisfaction, and contact lens-related problems. A variety of statistical analyses including analysis of variance, logistic regression, and repeated-measures logistic regression were used to model the data.

Results: Current or previous experience with contact lenses was reported by 453 (62%) of the subjects. Of these subjects, 119 (26.3%) reported that contact lenses were not the ideal form of visual correction for them (contact lens dissatisfaction) and another 109 (24.1%) had permanently discontinued contact lens wear. Dissatisfied contact lens wearers had reduced self-reported wearing times compared with satisfied contact lens wearers. Previous lens wearers were more likely than current lens wearers to be men, older (by ∼9.5 years), have started contact lens wear at a later age (∼4-5 years later), and have tried either rigid or both soft and rigid lenses. The primary self-reported reason for both contact lens dissatisfaction and discontinuation was ocular symptoms (dryness and discomfort), followed by preference for another corrective modality.

Conclusion: A significant number of contact lens wearers are not satisfied with contact lenses and are at risk for discontinuation.

From the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Received for publication July 18, 2006; accepted September 22, 2006.

Supported by the National Eye Institute (NIH/NEI EY13766, EY007151).

The authors state that they have no proprietary interest in the products named in this article.

Reprints: Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, The Ohio State University, 320 West 10th Avenue, Room 101, Columbus, OH 43210 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.