Previous studies have reported that the risk of corneal infections and inflammations with soft contact lens wear is highest in late adolescence and early adulthood. This study assesses the associations between patient age and other factors that may contribute to these events in younger patients.
Wearers aged 18-21 years reported more recent nights with less than 6 hours of sleep, more colds/flu, and higher stress levels. Wearers 18-21 and those 22-25 years were more likely to wear contact lenses when showering and also reported more frequent naps with soft contact lenses. They reported sleeping in their contacts after alcohol use, when traveling, and when away from home. Lower rates of regular hand washing before lens application was also associated with these groups. In addition, the relationship between reactive replacement and recommended replacement was dependent on age.
Patient age influences lens wearing behaviors, environmental exposures, and other determinants of health that may contribute to increased corneal infectious and inflammation events in younger wearers.