To investigate practitioner attitudes
to new vision correction options: silicone hydrogel extended
wear contact lenses and laser refractive surgery (LASIK
| This was a postal survey
sent to 1000 optometrists randomly selected from the Opticians
Register. 165 questionnaires were correctly completed and
submitted for analysis.
|65% of practitioners were
currently fitting silicone hydrogel extended wear lenses although
around half (53%) had fitted 10 or fewer patients. Most practitioners
(87%) were recommending that patients sleep in the lenses;
the most frequently recommended regimen was up to 29 night
with occasional overnight breaks (29%). The majority of practitioners
fitting the lenses (87%) were confident in recommending the
modality to their patients. However, they were more reticent
about claims that silicone hydrogel lenses were a safe option
for extended wear, the highest proportion (36%) neither agreeing
nor disagreeing that such claims were justified. 6 out of
10 respondents recommended refractive surgery to their patients
(30 sometimes, 70 occasionally). A majority of these (82%)
had experience of follow-up examinations on patients who had
undergone the procedures. Among those who never recommended
refractive surgery (39%), the most frequently cited reason
(64%) was the risks were too high. Although 91% perceived
patients as being satisfied with the outcome, only 36% said
they were confident in recommending surgery as a viable option.
They were also cautious about claims made by promoters of
refractive surgery, only 14% agreeing that such claims were
justified. When asked to choose between silicone hydrogel
extended wear or refractive surgery as the best and safest
option for their patients, 9 out of 10 respondents chose silicone
Most practitioners are
fitting the new lens materials for extended wear and feel
confident in recommending them to their patients. Practitioners
have more concerns regarding laser refractive surgery and
do not regularly recommend such procedures. Of the two methods
of refractive correction, silicone hydrogel extended wear
is preferred to refractive surgery.
|This work has been presented
at the BCLA 2001.
|Download PDF of Poster:
will need Version 4 or later of Adobe
Acrobat Reader to view some documents on this site.
You can get the latest version from the Adobe Home site.