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Use of silicone hydrogel contact lenses by Australian optometrists

journal contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Craig Woods, P Morgan
Background: Prior to the launch of silcone hydrogel (Si-H) materials in Australia in 1999, only 1.6 per cent of lenses were prescribed on a continuous wear basis.

Methods: One thousand surveys were distributed randomly to practitioners in Australia during January 2000, 2001 and 2002 (total surveys 3,000). Each anonymous survey requested data about the next 10 patients fitted with contact lenses, including date, age, gender, new fitting or refitting, lens material type, lens design, frequency of replacement, modality of wear, uses per week and care regimen.

Results: Twenty per cent (599) were returned, reporting data on 5,976 fittings. A total of 710 fittings used Si-H contact lenses (11.9 per cent), which represented 18.6 per cent of all soft lens fittings. During the three years, the proportion of practitioners prescribing Si-H lenses increased from 42.2 to 52.5 per cent. In 2000, 43.8 per cent were daily wear, which decreased to 32.2 per cent by 2002. The solution system of choice for daily wear lenses was multipurpose solutions (98.4 per cent); the only alternative was hydrogen peroxide systems. Continuous wear represented 11.7 per cent of all fittings, ofwhich 85.7 per cent were Si-H, 3.0 per cent RGP lenses and 11.3 per cent conventional hydrogels. For continuous wear, 79.0 per cent of fittings were to existing wearers, whereas for daily wear, 59.4 per cent were existing wearers. More males were prescribed Si-H continuous wear contact lenses, while females were more likely to be prescribed Si-H on a daily wear basis.

Discussion: Si-H contact lenses were introduced to the Australian market as a continuous wear contact lens, yet many practitioners use this product for daily wear with multipurpose solutions. By 2002, more practitioners were prescribing Si-H contact lenses for continuous wear than in 2000, suggesting a growing confidence in that product for that mode of wear. A comparison with an earlier survey shows there is an increase in continuous wear from 1.6 per cent to 11.7 per cent over a five-year period.

History

Journal

Clinical and experimental optometry

Volume

87

Issue

1

Pagination

19 - 23

Publisher

Wiley - Blackwell Publishing

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

0816-4622

eISSN

1444-0938

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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