Providing a great contact lens wearing experience is imperative for both patients and optometry practices. A large part of providing a great wearing experience hinges on recommending a contact lens that can perform in various environments while providing exceptional comfort, which is often a critical component in patient satisfaction and facilitating healthy lens wear.
If patients appreciate the knowledge and skill that goes into the decision-making process of prescribing contact lenses, it can enhance their appreciation for what their ECP provides them, and positively impact healthy lens wear compliance.
When it comes to helping patients understand contact lens prescribing and lens selection, and how that impacts comfort (a tangible and critical element that patients understand), ECPs should be prepared to discuss the building blocks of contact lens comfort with patients.
The building blocks of contact lens comfort
There are four key elements of contact lenses that can be considered when it comes to comfort.1,2
1. Coefficient of friction
4. Edge Design
Choosing a lens that will provide unbeaten comfort*
Discomfort is the leading cause of contact lens drop out,6 and utilizing lenses that provide the most comfortable wearing experience is imperative. Quality lenses are intentionally designed with comfort in mind from the very beginning, and that design process focuses on what properties lead to a comfortable contact lens. It is the combination and balance of these properties that enable unbeaten comfort.*
How does comfort enable hygiene?
During a time when hygiene is more important than ever before, eye care professionals (ECPs) must be prescribing the absolute best in comfort, eye health, and lifestyle when making contact lens recommendations.
When thinking about comfort and its relation to hygiene, one can consider two important aspects:
2. Patient Modifiable Factors
As we know, modality can play a critical factor in hygiene and consequently comfort. The longer a lens is used, the greater the potential to attract deposits from the ocular surface and environment that it is exposed to. We know that daily disposable lenses are widely regarded as the best option when it comes to comfort and providing a safe lens wearing experience due to decreased risk of infection and contact lens solution toxicity.7 Replacing a lens daily, ensures there is a fresh lens on the ocular surface at the beginning of every day.
Studies support that there are lower adverse event profiles and better safety outcomes in daily disposable lenses, like that found in the TEMPO study which found zero serious adverse events in 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST.§†8
Uncomfortable lenses can lead to compensatory behaviors which can lead to increased lens handling, eye rubbing, self-inoculation, and therefore, a less hygienic wearing experience. A more comfortable contact lens may result in fewer compensating behaviors like touching your eyes. During the current pandemic, lens hygiene is extremely critical and will continue to be at the forefront even post COVID-19.
Data suggests that 89% of patients surveyed report rubbing their eyes, touching or manipulating their lenses or using eye drops when a lens is uncomfortable^.
Uncomfortable contacts may lead to compromised hygiene.
How to promote hygiene and compliance in your practice
A patient’s wearing experience will ultimately come down to the lens you prescribe and their behaviors, both of which you as the ECP can influence. Prescribing lenses that provide unbeaten comfort* can enable hygiene.
*The following ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses have substantiated unbeaten in comfort claims: ACUVUE® OASYS Brand Family (including daily disposable), 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand Family (within the category of hydrogel daily disposable), and ACUVUE® VITA® Brand spherical only2,3,4
1. JJV Data on File 2018. ACUVUE(R) Master Brand Claims on Clinical Performance and Overall Material Properties
2. Brennan N, Coles-Brennan C. Supporting Data Linking Coefficient of Friction and Soft Contact Lens Comfort. Contact Lens Ant. Eye. 2013;36(2):e10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2013.08.040
3. JJV Data on File 2020. Claim for the family of ACUVUE® OASYS Brand Contact Lenses (2-week reusable) and ACUVUE® OASYS 1-Day with HydraLuxe® Technology using clinical trials cited on www.clinicaltrials.gov website. (March 24, 2020)
4. JJV Data on File 2020. Claim for ACUVUE® VITA® with HydraMax® Technology. Unbeaten in Comfort in Monthly Lens Category using clinical trials cited on www.clinicaltrials.gov website. (March 27, 2020)
5. JJV Data on File 2020. Unbeaten Comfort of 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand Family of Contact Lenses using clinical trials cited on www.clinicaltrials.gov website. (June 24, 2020)
6. Canavan K, Sulley A, Coles-Brennan C, Butterfield R. Multi-center Clinical Evaluation of Lapsed Wearers Refitted with senofilcon A Contact Lenses. Optom Vis Sci 2014;91:E-abstract 145180.
7. Carnt, Nicole. Solution toxicity in soft contact lens. Optometry & Vision Science, Vol. 84, No. 4, April 2007
8. Chalmers RL, Hickson-Curran, SB, Keay L, Gleason WJ, Albright R. Rates of adverse events with hydrogel and silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses in a large postmarket surveillance registry: the TEMPO registry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015;56:654–663. DOI:10.1167/iovs.14-15582
Important Safety Information
ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses are indicated for vision correction. As with any contact lens, eye problems, including corneal ulcers, can develop. Some wearers may experience mild irritation, itching or discomfort. Lenses should not be prescribed if patients have any eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. Consult the package insert for complete information. Complete information is also available from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. by calling 1-800-843-2020, or by visiting www.jnjvisionpro.com.