More Americans are using soft contact lenses -- especially daily disposable lenses -- and taking advantage of new designs targeting vision problems that were difficult to correct with previous contact lenses, reports the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.
Recent prescribing trends reflect ongoing advances in contact lens materials and capabilities, according to the survey study by Nathan Efron, PhD, DSc, of Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and colleagues. "This new survey highlights the predominant use of soft contact lenses, the rising popularity of advanced silicone hydrogel materials, and increasing use of toric and multifocal designs and daily disposable lenses," comments Anthony Adams, OD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science.
New Materials, New Designs Drive Changes in Contact Lens Use
Dr. Efron and coauthors summarize the findings of annual surveys of US contact lens practitioners conducted between 2002 and 2014. The analysis included 1,650 completed survey forms, providing data on about 7,700 contact lens fittings.
The results suggest an increase in average patient age, likely reflecting contact lens refitting by long-term users. While the number of men increased somewhat, women still account for nearly two-thirds of contact lens wearers.
Other findings highlight increased use of newer lens materials and designs, developed to promote patient comfort and safety and provide new options for correcting common vision problems:
The survey provides new insights into contact lens prescribing trends in the United States -- the world's largest contact lens market, with about 38.5 million users. While of obvious interest to vision care professionals and the contact lens industry, the findings also show that consumers are benefiting from ongoing advances in contact lens materials and designs. Dr. Adams adds, "Modern contact lenses overcome many of the limitations of previous designs, offering tremendous advantages to our patients in terms of comfort, safety, and vision correction."
Materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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