Research Exposes Disparity Between ECPs’ Personal Wearing Habits and Prescribing Habits for Healthiest Contact Lens Material

Source: CooperVision

New data from CooperVision shows a disparity between what eye care professionals (ECPs) in the United States choose for their personal contact lens wear versus what they prescribe for patients. Among 183 surveyed U.S. optometrists who wear 1-day contact lenses, 72% prefer a silicone hydrogel product for themselves, yet only 33% of patients are prescribed the same material.2 In addition, the research revealed that nearly six out of 10 (58%) optometrists who wear 1-day contact lenses choose to only wear silicone hydrogel material.1

“When optometrists are overwhelmingly choosing the healthiest contact lens material for themselves, yet still prescribing it at a substantially lower rate for patients, we have to ask why,” Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director, Professional & Academic Affairs, North America, CooperVision, said in a company news release. “This new finding adds to our recent study on silicone hydrogel 1-day prescribing. It points to ECP misunderstandings about how patients perceive cost and comfort, leading to missed opportunities to recommend the best contact lens option.”

“1-Day Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lens Report: Does Professional Practice Align with Consumer Expectations?” was released with widespread interest in August 2018, based on proprietary research among more than 450 ECPs and 1,500 consumers in Japan, the United Kingdom and United States, detailing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. During the American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting this week, CooperVision is sharing U.S.-specific data from the report, supplementing the aggregated global data previously announced.

In the U.S., 96% of ECPs agree that if cost were equivalent they would choose silicone hydrogel over hydrogel for their 1-day patients.3 Yet 74% of U.S. consumers say they expect their ECP to recommend the healthiest option regardless of cost, and 82% of U.S. consumers are likely to follow the advice of their ECP no matter the cost.5

Interestingly, 94% of U.S. ECPs agree that 1-day silicone hydrogel lenses are the best choice to safeguard patient eye health related to contact lens wear – yet even ECP self-wear numbers are still well below that level of support.1

Additional data points from the study reveal that U.S. ECPs:

Agree that 1-day silicone hydrogel lenses satisfy patients’ demanding lifestyles.3


Feel that silicone hydrogels should be the first choice of material for daily disposable lenses.4


Agree that 1-day silicone hydrogels provide a better wearing experience than 1-day hydrogels.3


Agree that 1-day silicone hydrogel lenses provide better long-term wearing comfort for patients than 1-day hydrogel lenses.3


Believe that wearers of 1-day silicone hydrogels have fewer problems than 1-day hydrogel patients.3


Refit hydrogel 1-day wearers with 1-day silicone hydrogel to prevent drop-out. 3


Agree that wearers of 1-day silicone hydrogels are more satisfied than 1-day hydrogel wearers.3


Sometimes worry that their 1-day hydrogel lens wearers are not getting all the oxygen they require.3


To download a copy of the global study, please visit coopervision.com/silicone-hydrogel-report.


1 CooperVision study conducted by kublic llc in the U.S. August 2018. Total 1-day wearer sample size n=183.

2 Industry reports and internal estimates.

3 ECP perception of the benefits of 1-day silicone hydrogels. February 2018. Cello Health Insight. Data on file. Survey carried out online in U.S., U.K. and Japan. Total sample size n=300 (100 ECPs in each country).

4 Barriers to 1-day silicone hydrogel research. July 2017. Cello Health Insight. Data on file. Survey carried out online in U.S., U.K. and Japan. Total sample size n=158 (US n=61, UK n=47, Japan n=50).

5 Silicone hydrogel lenses. 2018. YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1520 adults who wear contact lenses. Fieldwork undertaken March 26 – April 3, 2018. Survey carried out online.

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