Background:This study was conducted to ascertain current modes of contact lens prescribing in Australia.
Methods:One thousand questionnaires were randomly distributed to proportionate samples of optometrists in each state of Australia. The profession fits the majority of contact lenses in Australia and the sample represents 55 per cent of all optometrists. We requested details of the first 10 patients fitted with contact lenses after receipt of the questionnaire.
Results:We received 224 completed questionnaires, detailing contact lens fits to 2,230 patients. The mean age of the patient group was 32.3 ± 12.9 years and 65 per cent of these were female. Sixty per cent of patients were existing wearers, the remainder being new fits. The data indicated that 94 per cent of new fits were with soft lenses, of which six per cent were for extended wear. For refits 83 per cent were soft lenses and 24 per cent were extended wear. It was clear that the lens of first choice was mid-water-content (52 per cent of all soft lens fits). Only nine per cent of all soft fits were for lenses which were not replaced on a planned basis. The majority of rigid lenses were prescribed using mid-Dk materials (71 per cent). Analysis of solution prescribing indicates that multipurpose products were the most common regimens for planned replacement soft lenses. The percentage of hydrogen peroxide prescribed increased as lens replacement became less frequent.
Conclusions:Non-planned replacement lenses are now rarely prescribed to patients. Extended wear lenses and rigid lenses are prescribed more to existing contact lens wearers. The impact of multifocal lens designs on contact lens prescribing is very small, namely, five per cent of soft contact lenses and eight per cent of rigid lenses, despite 20 per cent of patients being over 45 years of age.
Field of Research
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences