Contact Lens profile: a tale of two countries
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Introduction: This study investigated the modality, type and duration of contact lens wear as well as compliance and hygiene related issues (hand and case hygiene, use of tap water, dozing and overnight wear) in the UK and Germany. Questionnaires were collected anonymously from 417 UK and 767 German patients attending optometric practices for contact lens appointments. It is the seventh of a series of contact lens wearer profiles conducted since 2000. Results: The proportion of rigid gas permeable lenses worn was significantly higher at 55.4% in Germany, compared to 16.1% in the UK. Overall, a significantly larger proportion of German participants used tap water to rinse their lenses and cases (P < 0.001). Also, German respondents changed their lens cases less frequently (p < 0.001). Fewer UK than German respondents stated they washed their hands before lens insertion (p = 0.009), removal (p = 0.01), before eating (p < 0.001). German participants were less likely to wash their hands before preparing food (p = 0.042) and after using the toilet (p = 0.002). The two sample groups differed significantly regarding the care regimens they used for their CLs (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The differences between Germany and the UK highlighted in this study were caused by differences in legal regulations, plumbing and practitioners’ guidance. Although many of the questions relating to hygiene differed statistically between the two participating sample groups, the absolute differences in figures were not considered to be large.