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Personal hygiene risk factors for contact lens-related microbial keratitis
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  • Published on:
    Better patient contact lens-related education is needed to address the high prevalence of behavioural risk factors for contact lens complications.
    • Martin J Anderson, Ophthalmology Registrar Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh, NHS Lothian, UK
    • Other Contributors:
      • Angela James, Ophthalmic Pharmacist
      • Ashish Agrawal, Ophthalmology Consultant

    We read with great interest the recent publication by Stellwagen et al titled 'Personal hygiene risk factors for contact lens-related microbial keratitis'.[1] Findings by Stellwagen et al mirror patterns of modifiable behavioural risk factors for contact lens-related keratitis seen in our practice. We recently evaluated the prevalence of behavioural risk factors, as well as contact lens-related education given to our patients.
    We recruited 100 consecutive patients referred with contact lens-related keratitis to an acute ophthalmology clinic at a tertiary eye hospital in Edinburgh, UK. A set questionnaire covering contact lens hygiene and recall of contact lens related education was used as part of the history taking process on presentation. 
    98 out of 100 patients were soft contact lens wearers, with 34% purchasing contact lenses online. 61 out of 100 reported receiving advice regarding contact lens usage and hygiene on initial purchase only and none thereafter. Seven percent did not recall receiving any contact lens-related advice at all. Contact lenses (excluding extended wear contact lenses) were worn for a median duration of 12 hours per day (Range 4.5-18).  27 out of 100 reported wearing contact lenses longer than prescribed for their specified lens type (eg. monthly or fortnightly disposable contact lenses) and 27 out of 100 reported swimming in their contact lenses. Excluding extended wear contact lens users, 17 out of 84 report...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.