Contact Lens Wear and Water Exposure

Title Contact Lens Wear and Water Exposure
Author, Co-Author Aaron Zimmerman, Kathryn Richdale, G. Mitchell, Beth Kinoshita, Dawn Lam, Heidi Wagner, Luigina Sorbara, Robin Chalmers, Sarah Collier, Jennifer Cope, Amanda MacGurn, Rao Rao, Michael Beach, Jonathan Yoder
Topic
Year
2015
Day
Friday
Program Number
155248
Room
Great Hall Foyer
Affiliation
The Ohio State University
Abstract Purpose: To understand soft contact lens (SCL) and gas permeable (GP) wearers’ behaviors and knowledge around exposure of lenses to water.

Methods: The Contact Lens Risk Survey with added questions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was completed by 1056 SCL and 85 GP wearers age 20-76 years. As part of the survey, participants were asked about exposures of their lenses to water and their knowledge about the risk of these behaviors. Chi-square analyses were used to examine relationships in patient behaviors and knowledge with water exposure.

Results:  GP wearers were more likely to ever rinse (31% SCL, 91% GP, p<0.001) and ever store (15% SCL, 33% GP, p<0.001) their lenses in water. Among SCL wearers, males were more likely to ever rinse (41% males, 29% females, p=0.012) or ever store (24% males, 13% females p=0.003) their lenses in water.  SCL wearers who reported ever rinsing with water (n=313) or ever storing SCLs in water (n=137) were more likely to also report overnight wear and failing to discard their lens care solution (p<0.001). SCL wearers who rinsed or stored in water (n=320) were more likely to report that water had no effect or prevented infection when used to rinse (60% vs 31%, p<0.001) or store (38% vs 17%, p<0.001) their SCLs compared to SCL wearers who did not rinse/store in water, and also perceived a more protective effect of distilled water as compared to tap water for both rinsing (p<0.001) and storing (p<0.001) SCLs. Despite well-established evidence that exposure of contact lenses to water increases the risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a significant number of SCL and GP wearers report this behavior and seem unaware of the risk. Many patients report other known risk factors such as overnight wear along with water exposure that may further increase their risk of complications. Eye care practitioners and lens manufacturers need to improve patient education around water exposure.
Affiliation of Co-Authors State University of New York College of Optometry, The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Pacific University College of Optometry, Marshall B. Ketchum University College of Optometry, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, University of Waterloo College of Optometry, Clinical Trial Consultant, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease
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