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Jennifer Hind, Olayinka Williams, Dilys oladiwura, Elisabeth Macdonald; Contact lens care – what our patients do and what they know. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):3078.
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Contact lens related keratitis is a frequent, often preventable presentation in emergency eye clinics. Patients often do not recall being counselled regarding the safe use of contact lenses and will fail to comply with guidance.We performed a prospective, anonymous survey of patients presenting with contact lens keratitis to identify the level of awareness and education regarding appropriate hygiene practices and ascertain compliance within this patient group.
A survey was designed in conjunction with our Research and Development department in line with local guidelines. All adult patients presenting with contact lens related keratitis who attended the emergency clinic at Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland were asked to fill in a survey. Information was collected on type of contact lenses used, the format of advice regularly received by patients, and compliance with recommended advice on contact lens and case care.
Twenty patients completed the survey (13 female). The mean length of contact lens wear was 11.5 years (Range: 0.75-36 years). Lens types used were extended wear (5 patients); monthly (10); fortnightly (2) and daily disposable (3). All patients reported being given counselling prior to commencing contact lens use (85% verbal and 15% written) but not all on renewal of prescription (55% verbal and 35% written).Many of the patients surveyed slept (75%), swam (40%) or showered (85%) in their contact lenses. More patients followed guidance on care of their contact lenses (88%), but the lens cases were often neglected.
Contact lenses provide a safe and effective means of correcting vision however they can be associated with serious contact lens related infections because of poor hygiene behaviours. Many of our patients had been long-term contact lens users. Verbal advice was given to 85% on initial contact but with the increasing use of the internet, it is likely that more of our patients will purchase contact lenses online. This reduces opportunities for regular face to face educational intervention.We identified that although most patients were informed on some level of appropriate hygiene requirements, compliance was poor. We suggest that patient education should be a stronger message when patients purchase contact lenses and information should be regularly emphasised in both verbal and written format.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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