Compliance Among Soft Contact Lens Wearers
Contact lens compliance is proven to be crucial for preventing lens wear- related complications because of the interdependence of the steps in lens care regime and their influence on lens system microbial contamination. Awareness of the patients’ lens handling compliance as well as correct recognition of non-compliant behaviours is the basis for creating more targeted strategies for patient education. The aim of this study was to investigate compliance among soft contact lens (SCL) wearers in different aspects of lens care handling and wearing habits. In our research 50 asymptomatic lens wearers filled out a questionnaire containing demographic data, lens type, hygiene and wearing habits, lenses and lens care system replacement schedule and self evaluation of contact lens handling hygiene. We established criteria of compliance according to available manufacturer’s recommendations, prior literature and our clinical experience. Only 2 (4%) of patients were fully compliant SCL wearers. The most common non-compliant behaviours were insufficient lens solution soaking time (62%), followed by failure to daily exchange lens case solution and showering while wearing lenses. 44% of patients reported storing lenses in saline solution. Mean lens storage case replacement was 3.6 months, with up to 78% patients replacing lens case at least once in 3 months. Average grade in self evaluating level of compliance was very good (4+/-0.78) (from 1-poor level of hygiene to 5-great level of hygiene). Lens wearers who reported excessive daily lens wear and more than 10 years of lens wearing experience were also found to be less compliant with other lens system care procedures. (t= -2.99, df=47, p<0.0045 and t= -2.33, df= 48, p<0.024, respectively). Our study indicates that almost all patients had some degree of non-compliance in lens system maintenance steps. Most common non-compliant behaviours were the ones that are crucial for maintaining lens sterility and preventing infection. Despite the low objective compliance rate, self grading was relatively high. Therefore, these results indicate the need for patient education and encouragement of better lens wearing habits and all of the lens maintenance steps at each patient visit.
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