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Clin Exp Optom. 2011 Jan;94(1):87-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2010.00524.x. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

An international survey of contact lens prescribing for presbyopia.

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Eurolens Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.



  The aim was to determine world-wide patterns of fitting contact lenses for the correction of presbyopia.


  Up to 1,000 survey forms were sent to contact lens fitters in each of 38 countries between January and March every year over five consecutive years (2005 to 2009). Practitioners were asked to record data relating to the first 10 contact lens fittings or refittings performed after receiving the survey form.


  Data were received relating to 16,680 presbyopic (age 45 years or older) and 84,202 pre-presbyopic (15 to 44 years) contact lens wearers. Females are over-represented in presbyopic versus pre-presbyopic groups, possibly reflecting a stronger desire for the cosmetic benefits of contact lenses among older women. The extent to which multifocal and monovision lenses are prescribed for presbyopes varies considerably among nations, ranging from 79 per cent of all soft lenses in Portugal to zero in Singapore. There appears to be significant under-prescribing of contact lenses for the correction of presbyopia, although for those who do receive such corrections, three times more multifocal lenses are fitted compared with monovision fittings. Presbyopic corrections are most frequently prescribed for full-time wear and monthly replacement.


  Despite apparent improvements in multifocal design and an increase in available multifocal options in recent years, practitioners are still under-prescribing with respect to the provision of appropriate contact lenses for the correction of presbyopia. Training of contact lens practitioners in presbyopic contact lens fitting should be accelerated and clinical and laboratory research in this field should be intensified to enhance the prospects of meeting the needs of presbyopic contact lens wearers more fully.

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