Contact Lens Satisfaction Determined by Visual Clarity, Comfort, and Handling Ease

woman putting on contact lenses
Clinicians should not underestimate the importance of handling for application when fitting patients for contact lenses.

Patient satisfaction with their contact lenses is significantly tied to the lens’s ease of handling, whether the patient is comfortable in the lens, and visual clarity, according to a study published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. In particular, the study points out that when a patient is dissatisfied while handling lenses during application, they are dissatisfied with the lens altogether.

Researchers enrolled 55 established contact lens wearers (mean age 27±10 years, 45 women) in a prospective, randomized, double-masked, bilateral crossover study to compare vision, comfort, and handling ease between somofilcon A (SiHy) and etafilcon A (Hy) lenses. They assigned patients to 1 of the 2 lens materials for a period of 1 week and switched materials at 1 week follow up. Participants rated each lens on a scale of 0 to 10 in the following categories: handling for application, handling for removal (0=very difficult, 10=very easy for both), comfort upon application (0=painful, 10=can’t feel the lens), visual clarity (0=not clear, 10=very clear), and overall satisfaction with clarity, overall satisfaction with comfort, and overall satisfaction with the lens (0=completely dissatisfied, 10=completely satisfied).

Investigators noted that SiHy lenses scored higher than Hy lenses in all categories, but only reached statistical significance in the handling for application and comfort upon application categories (9.4±0.8 vs 8.1±1.7 and 9.0±1.0 vs 8.1±1.8, respectively, P <.01 for both). They also found that overall satisfaction was significantly correlated with handling for application (r=0.64), overall satisfaction with vision (r=0.64), comfort upon application (r=0.59), overall satisfaction with comfort (r=0.88), comfort at the end of the day (r=0.61), and handling for removal (r=0.50).

Investigators note the equal correlation between handling for application and overall satisfaction with vision and state that “even with established wearers, negative experience in lens handling at application repeated daily could accumulate to a negative overall perception of the lenses.” 

Study limitations include a small sample size, and the use of only 2 brands of contact lenses

Disclosure: This research was supported by CooperVision Incorporated. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Guthrie S, Ng A, Woods J, Vega J, Orsborn G, Jones L. Exploring the factors which impact overall satisfaction with single vision contact lenses. Cont Lens Ant Eye. Published online March 1, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2022.101579