John Gialousakis, OD, EdM, FAAO (Dipl CCLRT) is an Associate Professor and the Director of Curriculum Development at Midwestern University Chicago College of Optometry. As part of his role, he teaches the specialty contact lens course, as well as supervises third- and fourth-year students in contact lens, myopia control, and prosthetic clinics.
Presented at the American Academy of Optometry meeting, Nashville, 2020, this poster investigates if prescribed contact lens users have the proper knowledge and are abiding by current healthcare safety standards to avoid contact lens wear complications.
John Gialousakis, Janki Chandravadia, Danny Dandouch, Mark Fisler, and Saabia Toor
Purpose: To investigate if prescribed contact lens users have proper knowledge and are abiding by current healthcare safety standards to avoid contact lens wear complications, and to explore whether age, gender, proper education, and re-education protocols during contact lens examinations yield increased contact lens compliance and hygiene.
Methods: Subjects examined were 414 healthcare professional students and faculty at Midwestern University Illinois campus that currently wear prescribed soft contact lenses. 328 participants were female and 86 participants were male. The participants were separated into four age groups of 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and older. An anonymous online survey was administered and included questions relating to common issues of noncompliance that lead to contact lens related ocular complications. Objectives measured were items such as age, gender, length of prescribed use, lens brands, lens type, wearing habits, cleaning habits, hygiene, contact lens education received, and re-education by eye care professionals. Statistical analysis was performed to determine if patient noncompliance results from age, gender, proper education, and re-education of contact lens protocols.
Results: 71% of the subjects that responded they were properly re-educated on how to care and insert/remove their contact lenses demonstrated compliance with cleaning their contact lens case with contact lens solution and letting it air dry with the contact lens case facing down. 79% of the subjects that felt they were properly re-educated on how to care and insert/remove their contact lenses were also compliant with replacing their contact lens case every 3 months or sooner. 95% of these respondents also showed proper handling of replacing the contact lens solution in their contact lens case after each use. There was a statistically significant correlation between subjects that stated they were properly re-educated on how to care and insert/remove their contact lenses and compliance with cleaning their contact lens case (p<0.001). We found similar compliance trends with these subjects replacing their contact lens case (p=0.001) and daily replenishment of contact lens solution (p=0.002). Age and gender were not statistically significant factors when looking at contact lens compliance.
Conclusion: Patients that reported they were re-educated on contact lens compliance were more compliant with cleaning their contact lens case, replacing their contact lens case, and replacing their contact lens solution. These findings help establish the importance of re-educating patients on proper contact lens handling during every eye exam when contact lenses are dispensed. Re-education of contact lens wear can help alleviate issues that arise due to contact lens mishandling. Therefore, providing proper education to contact lens wearers may ultimately result in a higher threshold of compliance and less contact lens related adverse reactions and bad habits.