Making the message stick: ‘no water’ labels could aid contact lens hygiene

Scientists have investigated the impact of providing ‘no water’ stickers with contact lens cases

Dr Nicole Carnt
New research has highlighted the benefits of using stickers on contact lens cases in order to reduce the number of patients who expose their contact lenses to water.

The consequences of non-compliance can be severe, with potential links to microbial keratitis and sterile corneal infiltrates.

To investigate the potential of ‘no water’ labels, researchers from the School of Optometry and Vision Science Sydney at the University of New South Wales conducted a randomised controlled trial involving 200 daily contact lens wearers. Their findings are reported in Eye.

Study participants were assigned either a plain contact lens storage case or one with a ‘no water’ sticker on it. Both groups received written contact lens compliance information.

The group completed a lens hygiene questionnaire at baseline and at six weeks. At the end of the study, analysis was performed on the containers to determine microbial contamination and endotoxin levels.

Of the 188 contact lens wearers who completed both visits, the overall water exposure score and endotoxin levels reduced significantly in the group that received cases with stickers compared to the group that received plain cases.

The researchers highlighted that the labels improved water-contact behaviours among contact lens wearers.

“Refining the messaging may be beneficial in future to improve other aspects of compliance,” they observed.