Achieving compliance with safe contact lens wear and care practices is an ever-present challenge. We recognize that achieving compliance is a goal, which, if not met, has the potential for significant implications with respect to our contact lens wearing patients’ health and comfort.1 While the approach an individual practitioner takes may vary, each of us must strive to convey a meaningful and strong message, demonstrate and elicit appropriate contact lens wear and care behaviors, and continually reinforce the positive rewards of compliance.

So how effective are we? A recent study compared two clinical populations: 281 from the general optometric population in the Dallas/Fort Worth area vs. 152 examined at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The results indicated that 58% of patients in the general community could identify by name a complication associated with lens wear. In addition, 85% of all patients perceived themselves as compliant with their lens wear and care practices, but only 2% of patients demonstrated good compliance and even fewer (a mere 0.4%) of patients were fully compliant with contact lens wear and care practices.2 Even more compelling, perhaps, is that overall, the entire study population thought they were maintaining good compliant practices, despite their overwhelming low actual compliance scores.2

Where can we improve? This study revealed three areas where education is needed: topping off solutions, tap water exposure and hygiene. Ninety percent of patients indicated they understood the significance of using fresh solution daily, but failed to recognize the importance of removing pre-existing solution before adding new.2

How can we improve? To successfully foster compliance, we must ensure that patients conceptually “buy in” to our message and have a vested interest in the benefits and rewards of adhering to our recommendations. To achieve this, I have adopted a three-pronged approach. First, I inform patients that I am recommending OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® MDPS as their personal lens care system because it is specifically formulated to clean, disinfect and recondition today’s advanced contact lens materials. I always mention that while there are many solutions on the shelf, they are not all the same and substitutions should not be made without consulting me first.

Second, my staff instructs the patients on all phases and procedures related to proper hand hygiene, lens handling and replacement, case care and replacement, and wear schedules and cycles. Patients are advised to rub their lenses with OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® MPDS and to avoid topping off.

Finally, and most importantly, I inspire my patients’ ongoing compliance by explaining that OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® MPDS is designed to optimize the comfort of their contact lenses by helping to keep the lens surface moist throughout the day.

Given that discomfort is one of the most common self-reported complications, recommending OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® MPDS is an invaluable tool to optimize the lens wearing experience and, in turn, to reinforce the benefits of excellence in lens care.

1. Dumbleton KA, Woods CA, Jones LW, Fonn D. The relationship between compliance with lens replacement and contact lens-related problems in silicone hydrogel wearers. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2011;34:216–22.
2. Robertson D, Cavanagh D. Non-Compliance with contact lens wear and care practices: a comparative analysis. Optom Vis Sci. 2011 Dec;88(12):1402-8.