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Clin Exp Optom. 2010 May;93(3):157-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2010.00480.x.

A comparison of spectacle and contact lens wearing times in the ACHIEVE study.

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Ohio State University College of Optometry, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



The aim was to compare vision correction wearing time between myopic children and teenagers in a clinical trial of contact lenses and spectacles.


Parents of subjects in the Adolescent and Child Health Initiative for Vision Empowerment (ACHIEVE) study provided wearing times for spectacle and contact lens wear. Hours wearing primary correction and total correction were compared between the two treatment groups. Other factors hypothesised to be associated with wearing time were analysed.


The average wearing time of the primary correction differed significantly with the wearing time for the spectacles group being 91.5 hours per week compared to 80.3 hours per week for the contact lens wearers (p < 0.0001). Total correction time was slightly higher for the contact lens wearers, 97.5 hours per week, after accounting for time wearing spectacles. Higher refractive error was strongly related to longer wearing times (p < 0.0002). Age and treatment group were associated with wearing time (p = 0.005). Young contact lens wearers wore their lenses less than young spectacle wearers and older contact lens wearers. Low scores on an appearance quality-of-life scale were associated with longer wearing time in spectacle wearers compared to the low- and high-scoring contact lens wearers. Gender, spectacle satisfaction and activities were not related to wearing time.


While contact lens wearers, on average, wear their contact lenses less than spectacle wearers, they spend roughly the same amount of time wearing a refractive correction. Higher refractive error resulted in longer wearing times for both spectacle and contact lens wearers. Younger contact lens wearers wore their contact lenses for shorter periods than the spectacle wearers, but still wore them, on average, 74.4 hours per week (about 10 hours per day), suggesting that contact lenses are a viable alternative mode of correction for children.

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