Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on contact lens wear in Spain

  • Diego García-Ayuso
    Correspondence
    Corresponding authors at: Laboratorio de Oftalmología Experimental, Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria-Virgen de la Arrixaca, Edificio LAIB Planta 5ª, Carretera Buenavista s/n, 30120, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Affiliations
    Departamento de Oftalmología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

    Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca (IMIB-Virgen de la Arrixaca), Murcia, Spain

    Facultad de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Murcia, Spain
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  • Miguel Escámez-Torrecilla
    Affiliations
    Máster en Optometría Aplicada, Facultad de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Murcia, Spain
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  • Caridad Galindo-Romero
    Affiliations
    Departamento de Oftalmología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

    Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca (IMIB-Virgen de la Arrixaca), Murcia, Spain

    Facultad de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Murcia, Spain
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  • Francisco J. Valiente-Soriano
    Affiliations
    Departamento de Oftalmología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

    Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca (IMIB-Virgen de la Arrixaca), Murcia, Spain

    Facultad de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Murcia, Spain
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  • Esmeralda Moya-Rodríguez
    Affiliations
    Murcia, Spain
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  • Paloma Sobrado-Calvo
    Affiliations
    Departamento de Oftalmología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

    Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca (IMIB-Virgen de la Arrixaca), Murcia, Spain

    Facultad de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Murcia, Spain
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  • Johnny Di Pierdomenico
    Correspondence
    Corresponding authors at: Laboratorio de Oftalmología Experimental, Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria-Virgen de la Arrixaca, Edificio LAIB Planta 5ª, Carretera Buenavista s/n, 30120, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Affiliations
    Departamento de Oftalmología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

    Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca (IMIB-Virgen de la Arrixaca), Murcia, Spain

    Facultad de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Murcia, Spain
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To investigate the behaviour of contact lens (CL) wearers in Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Methods

      An anonymized web-based questionnaire was used to assess demographics, CL history, and activity, CL wear habits and perceived risk of infection due to CL wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Results

      A total of 737 participants with an average age of 27.4 (±9.3) years completed the online questionnaire. The vast majority of respondents were soft CL wearers and reported at least two years of CL wear. Patients concerns about the increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to CL wear (40.6 % of participants) were significantly related (χ2(1) = 11.195, p < 0.05) to CL discontinuation (46 % of participants) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fact joins the significant changes in the frequency of CL wear during the COVID-19 pandemic (χ2(4) = 31.982, p < 0.05), with a tendency to increase occasional CL wear from 29.1 % to 61.8 %. Interestingly, the majority of respondent (87.9 %) indicated that no professional had offered them information related to CL wear and COVID-19, and that they had not sought it on their own (82.2 %).

      Conclusion

      There is a relationship between the perceived risk of infection and CL dropout during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a tendency to change the CL frequency of wear, with an increase in occasional CL wear. During the ongoing pandemic, eye care practitioners should reinforce CL patient education to minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and CL-related complications requiring clinical care.

      Keywords

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