Washington, DC — A national online consumer opinion survey reveals that contact lens wearers say they are concerned about the potential for increased risks not only to their visual health but to the privacy of their personal data that could arise from online purchase of contact lenses, which are regulated medical devices that require a prescription.
The just completed survey found that nearly 75 percent of contact lens consumers feel it is riskier to obtain their contact lenses from online and other sources rather than from their local eye doctor, according to Public Opinion Strategies (POS), one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms.
Less than 10 percent of contact lens consumers say they believe their personal health information is more likely to be properly safeguarded by online and other sources rather than their family eye doctor.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set August 24-28 as “National Contact Lens Health Week,” an annual effort to inform and educate the tens of millions of Americans who wear contact lenses. In 2014, a CDC report attributed nearly 1 million emergency room or urgent doctor visits and $175 million in added health care costs to keratitis, an eye infection often linked to improper contact lens use.
“Consumers have a lot of options when it comes to ordering contact lenses,” said Glen Bolger, of POS. “What our data shows is that consumers are far more confident in family eye doctors when it comes to personal health risks and privacy issues.”
The survey found that 89 percent of contact lens consumers said their family eye care doctor provides the most personalized service and cares the most about a patient’s eye health. Furthermore, 93 percent of contact lens wearers said that their family eye doctor was the best source of information when it came to caring for contact lenses and preventing related eye health problems.
According to Kevin Lawlor, spokesperson for See Clearly America, “Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when patients follow the proper care and wearing instructions, as provided by a Doctor of Optometry or other eye doctor. The survey shows consumers say they trust their family eye doctor.”
Public Opinion Strategies is one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms, specializing in corporate and public policy research. Since our founding in 1991, we have completed more than 19,000 research projects and interviewed more than eight million Americans across the United States.
About the See Clearly America consumer survey: The See Clearly America survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Public Opinion Strategies (POS). From August 11 to August 13, 2015, POS conducted 500 online interviews among a representative sample of contact lens wearing Americans ages 18 and older. (Margin of error is plus or minus 4.38 percentage points.)