Looking at studies shows that contact lens wearers continue to abuse lens wear by not following wear recommendations, care regimens, or replacement times. Even with advances in contact lens science, such non-compliance remains a significant problem. Reinforcing education and training plus prescribing daily disposables may help improve compliance.
More current research
These studies were five years old. Surely things have improved since then.
The most current numbers I found were from a study conducted in Ohio,3 and the results were not much different. Of 297 subjects participating in this study, non-compliance with replacement schedule was reported in 38.7 percent of subjects. Non-compliance with prescribed overnight wear was reported in 23.9 percent of subjects in the report.
In yet another study, a total of 40 percent to 74 percent of contact lens wearers did not replace reusable contact lenses on time and in recommendation with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement frequency. In that same report approximately 6 percent of patients reported intentional overnight contact lens wear in lenses that were not designed or approved for extended wear.4
I find these results amazing because eyecare professionals know the disease load is reduced by 60 percent to 70 percent by simply avoiding overnight lens use.5
To add insult to injury, subjects who were non-compliant with lens replacement were more likely to be non-compliant with overnight wear. Daily replacement wearers were most likely to be compliant with contact lens replacement, but all subjects, including daily replacement wearers, had similar overnight wear non-compliance.
There is also a disconnect between what the patient sees as acceptable compliance with contact lens wear and care and what the practitioner sees as acceptable behavior. In both of the 2014 studies, survey respondents considered themselves to be compliant.
1. Noushad B, Saoji Y, Bhakat P, Thomas J. Contact lens compliance among a group of young, university-based lens users in South India. Australas Med J. 2012;5(3):168-174.
2. Gyawali R, Nestha Mohamed F, Bist J, Kandel H, Marasini S, Khadka J. Compliance and hygiene behaviour among soft contact lens wearer in the Maldives. Clin Exp Optom 2014 Jan;97(1):43-47.
3. Reuff EM, Wolfe J, Bailey MD. A study of contact lens compliance in a non-clinical setting. Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2019 Oct;42(5): 557-561.
4. Ramamoorthy P, Nichols JJ. Compliance factors associated with contact lens-related dry eye. Eye Contact Lens 2014 Jan;40(1):17-22.
5. Stapleton F, Carnt N. Contact lens-related microbial keratitis: how have epidemiology and genetics helped
us with pathogenesis and prophylaxis. Eye (Lond). 2012 Feb;26(2):185-93.
6. Yeung KK, orister JF, Forister EF, Chung MY, Han S, Weissman BA. Compliance with soft contact lens replacement
schedules and associated contact lens-related ocular complications: the UCLA contact lens study. Optometry. 2010
7. Chalmers RL, Keay L, McNally J, Kern J. Multicenter casecontrol study of the role of lens materials and care products
on the development of corneal infiltrates. Optom Vis Sci. 2012 Mar;89(3):316-25