A first-of-its kind investigation has linked subjective comfort and subjective vision quality in the use of toric soft contact lenses.1 Application of the findings by eye care professionals has the potential to decrease patient dropouts across the contact lens category.
The study, The Association of Comfort and Vision in Soft Toric Contact Lens Wear has been accepted for publication by Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, the peer-reviewed journal of the British Contact Lens Association.
The prospective, crossover, randomised, subject-masked research study had habitual soft contact lenses wearers sequentially use three types of daily disposable toric lenses over three weeks. Biomicroscopy scores, lens fit, visual acuity, subjective vision quality and subjective ocular surface comfort were recorded at dispensing and follow-up visits. While differences in visual acuity were not statistically significant, greater comfort scores were observed with greater subjective vision quality scores. This suggests that symptoms of ocular discomfort may be more intense if there is also perceived visual compromise in daily disposable soft toric lenses.
“Some eye care professionals choose to fit spherical contact lenses for lower yet significant amounts of astigmatism, believing there’s little difference for the wearer,” said Gary Orsborn, OD, Vice President of Global Professional, Medical & Clinical Affairs for CooperVision and a paper co-author. “Insights from this analysis help confirm a compelling reason to fit toric soft contact lenses for all patients with 0.75 DC or more of astigmatism. Discomfort is a leading cause of drop out, so increased use of toric designs with astigmats could increase retention, patient satisfaction and practice success.”
The authors note that despite other advances in the field, contact lens discomfort remains a major unresolved issue, with rates of discontinuation ranging from 12 to 51 percent.2,3,4,5,6 Recognising significant efforts have been made to understand the comfort-related effects of physical lens and ocular surface characteristics, they sought to consider other possibilities for patient behaviour. To the authors’ knowledge, no other published work has investigated the association between subjective vision quality and comfort in toric soft contact lenses.
“The outcomes are clear and simple to implement. After paying close attention to toric lens fitting parameters, practitioners should routinely and proactively assess the level of visual satisfaction by wearers while also inquiring about their comfort. These subjective measures are more likely to indicate fitting success and predict continuation of wear compared to visual acuity alone,” said Carole Maldonado-Codina, the paper’s first author, the study’s principal investigator, and Associate Director of Eurolens Research at The University of Manchester.
The study was funded by CooperVision and is available in press at doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2020.11.007.
- Maldanado-Codina C et al. The Association of Comfort and Vision in Soft Toric Contact Lens Wear. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. In press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2020.11.007
- Pritchard N, Fonn D, Brazeau D. Discontinuation of contact lens wear: a survey. Int Contact Lens Clin 1999;26:157–62.
- Dumbleton K, Woods CA, Jones LW, Fonn D. The impact of contemporary contact lenses on contact lens discontinuation. Eye Contact Lens 2013;39:93–9.
- Richdale K, Sinnott LT, Skadahl E, Nichols JJ. Frequency of and factors associated with contact lens dissatisfaction and discontinuation. Cornea 2007;26:168–74.
- Rumpakis J. New data on contact Lens dropouts: an international perspective. Rev Optom 2010;147:37–40.
- Weed K, Fonn D, Potvin R. Discontinuation of contact lens wear. Optom Vis Sci 1993;70:140.