The purpose of this study was to describe age
and other risk
factors for ocular events that interrupt soft contact lens
(SCL) wear in youth.
A retrospective chart review of SCL wearers aged 8 to 33 years at the first observed visit was conducted at six academic eye care centers in North America. Data were extracted from all visits during the observation period (>3 years). Clinical records that documented conditions resulting in an interruption of SCL wear “events” were scanned, masked for age
and SCL parameters, and then adjudicated to consensus diagnosis. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the effect of selected covariates, including age
, on the risk
of an event.
Chart review of 3549 SCL wearers yielded 522 events among 426 wearers (12%). The risk
of an event increased from ages 8 to 18 years, showed modest increases between ages 19 and 25 years, and then began to decline after age
25 years. New lens wearers (<1 year) were less likely to experience events (p = 0.001). Lens replacement schedule and material were also predictive of interruptions to SCL wear with the lowest risk
in daily replacement and hydrogel lens wearers (both p < 0.0001).
These results suggest that the risk
of events that interrupt SCL wear peaks in late adolescence and early adulthood and reflects risk
factors identified in prospective contact lens
studies. Relative to older teens and young adults, patients younger than 14 years presented with significantly fewer events resulting in interrupted lens wear.