Many patients with presbyopia are unaware of contact lens-related solutions for their condition, but would utilize such solutions if their eye care providers offered education on the devices, according to a study published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye.
Researchers enrolled 1540 participants (age range 40-70 years, 57.9% women, 50.8% established contact lens wearers) in a study to investigate the low market penetration of multifocal contact lenses. Among the cohort, 49.2% strictly wore spectacle lenses, 8.0% exclusively wore contact lenses, and 42.8% wore a combination of both. The dropout rate of contact lens wearers was 23.8%.
The team administered a 32-question, nonvalidated questionnaire to all participants. The contact lens arm (n=782) predominantly wore hydrogel or silicone-hydrogel lenses (93.9%) with 48% wearing daily disposable lenses. The spectacle lens group consisted of some former contact lens wearers (n=244) with a majority never attempting to wear them (n=758).
A majority of participants reported they used (or wished to use) contact lenses for sports and fitness or work-related purposes (both >30%). Despite the potential for athletic and occupational solutions, more than 20% of participants in the spectacle group reported they did not wear contact lenses because their eye care provider did not offer them that option. Contrarily, the most common reason contact lens wears gave for deciding to wear contact lenses was the influence of their provider (>20%). Researchers also highlight the fact that among contact lens wearers, 74% opt to purchase their lenses directly from the provider.
“It should not be underestimated that this group of patients want advice and guidance, they do not want to be reminded of the fact they are aging, and at first onset they will associate the need for reading spectacles or bifocals with their parents. This group of patients will often lead active lifestyles and their reasons for wanting contact lenses do not differ from prepresbyopic patients,” according to the report.
The study’s limitations include a potential for volunteer bias and lack of randomization.
Disclosure: This research was funded by Menicon Co. LTD. Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Naroo SA, Nagra M, Retallic N. Exploring contact lens opportunities for patients above the age of 40 years. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. Published online April 16, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2022.101599