Healthy Contact Lens Behaviors Communicated by Eye Care Providers and Recalled by Patients — United States, 2018
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Healthy Contact Lens Behaviors Communicated by Eye Care Providers and Recalled by Patients — United States, 2018

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      An estimated 45 million U.S. residents enjoy the benefits of contact lens wear, but many of them might be at increased risk for complications stemming from improper wear and care behaviors (1). One of the most serious complications of contact lens wear is a corneal infection known as microbial keratitis, which can sometimes result in reduced vision or blindness (2). In 2014, 50% of contact lens wearers reported ever sleeping in contact lenses, and 55% reported topping off* their contact lens solutions (3), which put them at greater risk for a contact lens-related eye infection (2,4). Data on communication between eye care providers and contact lens wearers on contact lens wear and care recommendations are limited. Two surveys were conducted to better understand and assess contact lens education about nine recommendations: the first assessed contact lens wearer experiences regarding recommendations received from eye care providers during their most recent appointment; the second evaluated provider-reported practices for communicating contact lens wear and care recommendations to their patients. One third (32.9%) of contact lens wearers aged ≥18 years recalled never hearing any lens wear and care recommendations. Fewer than half (47.9%) recalled hearing their provider recommend not sleeping in lenses at their last visit, and 19.8% recalled being told to avoid topping off their contact lens solution. A majority of providers reported sharing recommendations always or most of the time at initial visits, regular checkups, and complication-related visits. Providers reported sharing nearly all recommendations more frequently at initial and complication-related visits than at regular checkups. Of the nine recommendations for safe contact lens wear and care, eye care providers at regular checkups most often recommend complying with the recommended lens replacement schedules (85% of regular visits), not sleeping in lenses (79.0% of regular visits), and not topping off solutions (64.4% of regular visits). Eye care providers play an important role in the health of their contact lens-wearing patients and can share health communication messages with their patients to help educate them about healthy wear and care habits. These findings can assist in the creation of health communication messages to help encourage eye care providers to communicate more effectively with their patients.
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