The results of a survey commission by CooperVision show that a significant number of spectacle-only wearers may not have the full picture about contact lenses or are waiting for their eye care professional (ECP) to recommend them. The research synopsis—which includes straightforward suggestions for ECPs on how to make use of these new insights—is now available for download. The survey included responses from 4,000 dual-wear and 4,000 spectacle-only wearers across Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
The study summarizes common barriers that make spectacle-only wearers hesitant to try contact lenses—most of which can be addressed by ECPs. Patients rely on their ECP to suggest alternative forms of vision correction, with about one in five respondents stating they started wearing contact lenses because of their ECP’s recommendation. Another 23 percent of respondents were unaware that contact lenses were even available for their prescription.
When asked about the advantages of their vision correction approach, only 32 percent of spectacle-only wearers agreed that their eyeglasses were comfortable, and just 26 percent said their glasses formed “part of their personality.” In contrast, 52 percent of dual wearers stated they liked the way they look in contact lenses and 58% appreciated that their contact lenses did not fog up or get dirty.
ECPs have the opportunity to take a proactive approach in discussing wearing both contact lenses and eyeglasses by raising common patient lifestyle choices. More than half (54 percet) of dual wearers began using contact lenses because they found spectacles inconvenient for certain activities like exercising. Another 37 percent started because they did not like the way they looked in spectacles.
The comparison between spectacle-only and dual-wear respondents demonstrates the knowledge gap of contact lenses’ advantages for certain activities. This insight presents a good opportunity for ECPs to ask patients about their lifestyle and activities routinely and point out contact lens wear benefits specific to those factors. The report also stresses the importance for ECPs to create a tangible, on-eye trial experience for patients, as the benefits of contact lenses may be hard to imagine for someone who’s never tried them.
“A lack of ECP recommendations is one of the main reasons patients don’t consider contact lenses for their vision correction. By helping more people understand that they can wear contact lenses, ECPs can further deepen their relationships and increase their value as a trusted advisor in caring for their patients. This includes explaining that glasses and contact lenses do not have to be an ‘either-or’ choice, but can co-exist,” says Gary Orsborn, OD, vice president of global professional, medical and clinical affairs for CooperVision. “By understanding the insights outlined in this study—and more routinely discussing patients’ vision correction options—ECPs can help to bridge gaps in knowledge and misperceptions of spectacle-only wearers. Doing so has the potential to create better experiences for their patients as well as enhanced opportunities for their practice.”
The Consumer Insights Series report recommends that ECPs take three steps to encourage spectacle-only wearers to consider contact lenses:
- be proactive
- make it personal
- and get lenses on eyes.
More detailed suggestions are incorporated within the downloadable report.