By Kieron Mathews, BSc, MBA, Ben Daigle, Giovanna E. Olivares, OD, FAAO

Soft toric contact lens performance varies throughout the day, mirroring earlier findings among wearers of spherical lenses.

A recent survey of 208 current soft toric contact lens wearers in the U.S. reveals a downward trend in contact lens performance over the course of a day.¹

The quantitative longitudinal survey was conducted in December 2015 by independent market research firm, Kadence International. Participants aged 18 to 39 were identified via an online
market research panel and asked to take short micro-surveys on their smart phones approximately every two hours throughout the course of a day.

In each micro-survey, participants rated their comfort, satisfaction, and vision quality on 5-point scales. These measures were combined into a single “performance” metric with a 15-point scale. Respondents also selected which activities they had participated in (from a list of 18, such as using a computer or laptop, sitting at an office desk or driving), what indoor or outdoor environments they had been in (from a list of 8, such as being in an air-conditioned environment, being outside on a windy or a dry day), and what moods or symptoms they were experiencing.

Survey Results
Most respondents (88%) wore reusable contact lenses. The average age was 31.3 years old and 66% were female.

As we reported for spherical wearers in the past, not all toric contact lens wearers had the same experience. About 42% of those surveyed  (“Maintainers”) experienced fairly consistent performance throughout the day, while 58% (“Decliners”) experienced a decline, with significant drops in performance around 3-4 hours of wear and again at 7-8 hours of wear.

For the Decliners, symptoms increased as performance declined. The most commonly reported symptoms, “tired eyes” and “dryness”, were experienced by 74% of Decliners. Additionally, nearly half (48%) of Decliners experienced some form of visual compromise.

Decliners were more likely than Maintainers to shift among 3 or more different environments and 8 or more activities throughout the day. This was particularly noticeable with digital activities. The more engaged with digital devices the patient was, the faster the rate of performance decline he or she experienced (r=0.45; p<0.05).

Decliners were also significantly more likely than Maintainers to try to compensate for problems with lens performance by rubbing their eyes, blinking to clear their vision, and blinking excessively to make the toric lens rotate back into place.

Toric Lens Wear Realities

  • Nearly 6 in 10 existing toric  contact lens wearers experience declining performance over the  course of a day of wear
  • The rate of performance decline is statistically correlated with the intensity of digital device use
  • Those who experienced a decline are more likely to experience a wider variety of activities and  environments throughout the day

This study demonstrates that astigmatic patients who undertake a wider variety of activities, shift among more environments and spend more time using digital devices are most at risk of declining performance throughout the wear day. It is therefore important to ask current soft toric wearers about their daily activities to help identify those who are not totally satisfied. These patients may be excellent candidates for a new soft toric contact lens designed to offer clear, consistent vision and comfort in challenging environments now available in the Canadian Marketplace.

1. Mathews, K., et al. Exploring variability in soft toric contact lens performance throughout the day. Poster presentation at American Academy of Optometry Conference, Nov 2016. Market Research Survey on performance throughout the day with toric soft lens wearers. US, n=208, 12% daily disposable toric, 88% reusable toric.
Mr. Mathews and Mr. Daigle are employees of Kadence International. Dr. Olivares is an employee of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
EYE-INSPIRED™ is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Inc.
© Johnson & Johnson Inc. 2017

Kieron Mathews, BSc, MBA, Ben Daigle, Giovanna E. Olivares, OD, FAAO

Kieron Mathews, BSc, MBA, Ben Daigle, Giovanna E. Olivares, OD, FAAO

This article is sponsored by J&J Vision Care Canada.