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contact lens institute

Simple Communications Adjustments Could Supercharge Contact Lens Adoption, According to New Research

Simple adjustments to how eye care practices communicate with patients may attract a significantly higher number of contact lens wearers, according to new data from the Contact Lens Institute (CLI). The industry association is previewing its latest See Tomorrow initiative consumer research at Vision Expo East this week, ahead of publishing an in-depth report next month.

The findings reveal significant untapped contact lens demand, with almost one in two (47.8%) glasses wearers who have never tried contacts saying they are highly interested. However, only one in 10 (10.5%) said their optometrist or ophthalmologist had recommended they consider contact lenses, with even lower rates for exam staff (6%), optical/eyewear display staff (3%), and administrative staff (2%) within the office.

CLI 2024 Research - CL Demand-Reco
CLI 2024 Research – CL Demand-Reco

“Our research has consistently shown that vision-corrected adults are waiting for their doctors to raise the possibility of contact lens wear—a straightforward action that enhances patient satisfaction and practice success. This latest work delved even deeper into how that and other behaviors by practice teams play enormous roles in attracting or dissuading consumers from contemplating contact lenses and their many benefits.”

Stan Rogaski, CLI executive director

More than half (51%) of glasses wearers said their lack of contact lens trial was directly influenced by in-practice behaviors or lack thereof. Specific detractors included not having been asked about contact lenses (20%), not being told they were a candidate (19%), and not being provided with contact lens information (18%).

CLI 2024 Research - In-Practice Detractors
CLI 2024 Research – In-Practice Detractors

The same respondents were also asked to weigh 25 factors that would influence their consideration of contact lenses—all actions largely within the control of offices. Having their eye doctor explain why contact lenses would benefit the patient ranked first (66%), followed by understanding how to insert and remove lenses (52%), being given trial lenses at their appointment (51%), having a wide range of price and performance options (47%), and being aware of contacts for specific eye conditions (46%).

CLI 2024 Research - CL Top 10 Attraction Factors
CLI 2024 Research – CL Top 10 Attraction Factors

While underlining that the entire practice team should communicate the advantages of contact lens wear, the CLI research highlighted that the optometrist or ophthalmologist must not completely delegate that responsibility. The influence of the aforementioned doctor’s recommendation (66%) is markedly more influential among patients than recommendations from exam staff (22%) and from eyewear display staff (8%).

CLI 2024 Research - Role Influence
CLI 2024 Research – Role Influence

Vision Expo East Events

During Vision Expo East’s opening night event on Friday, March 15, CLI and the Bad Habits—the “EyeDocs of Rock”— struck a unique musical partnership to bring added visibility to the latest research.

On Saturday, March 16, at 11 a.m. ET, several CLI Visionaries—eye care professionals who exemplify outstanding contact lens prescribing practices—discussed the preliminary research findings on the Vision Expo East “The Bridge” main stage, sharing how they work with their teams to instill and reinforce behaviors that attract new contact lens wearers. “Beyond Vision: Behaviors to Supercharge Your Contact Lens Business” panelists include Jason Compton, OD, FAAO, Sabrina Gaan, OD, Scott Moscow, OD, and Adam Ramsey, OD, with moderation from Andrew Bruce, LDO, ABOM, NCLEM, FCLSA.

“Opportunities to grow contact lens prescribing, with all the positives that brings to patient and practice, are substantial and well within reach of eye care offices. The Contact Lens Institute is excited to put this information into the hands of the eye care community, and offer ideas and insights for easy implementation,” said Rogaski.

The research was commissioned by the Contact Lens Institute and conducted by Prodege from February 1-9, 2024, via an online survey. Respondents included 1,053 vision-corrected adults ages 18-64 residing in the United States. The sample size for glasses wearers who had never tried contact lenses was 579.

The Contact Lens Institute advances the latest innovations in safe and effective contact lens and lens care products and services that provide unique benefits to patients while satisfying the evolving needs of eye care professionals. CLI undertakes activities that properly assess, enhance, promote, and balance contact lens and lens care industry welfare and growth, including the safe use of products in the marketplace. Its members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision. For more information, visit contactlensinstitute.org.

Click HERE for the press release.

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