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    About 50% of patients severely astigmatic, study says

    Jacksonville, FL—Nearly one-half of patients requiring vision correction are significantly astigmatic in at least one eye and could benefit from advances in toric contact lens technology, according to a study published in Eye & Contact Lens: Science and Clinical Practice.

    To calculate the prevalence of astigmatism for various thresholds by eye and by patient, researchers obtained access to a database from a U.K. optical retail chain representing 11,624 patients aged 8 to 70 years with spectacle prescriptions. Upon analysis, nearly one-half of the patients (47.4%) demonstrated significant astigmatism (greater or equal to 0.75 D) in at least one eye, and nearly a quarter (24.1%) exhibited significant astigmatism in both eyes.

    For patients with myopia, the prevalence of astigmatism in at least one eye was higher—54.9% demonstrated astigmatism in at least one eye and 31.7% in both eyes. Further, the prevalence of astigmatism was lower in patients aged 20 years and under. The prevalence of younger patients with 0.75 D or greater in both eyes was 21.4% compared with 24.5% in those aged 40 years and older.

    “Although these numbers show young people have lower rates of astigmatism compared to adults, the numbers are still significant,” said Anna Sulley, BSc, MCOptom, clinical affairs manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a prepared statement on the study results.

    “Children are less likely to report vision problems,” Sulley said. “By asking the right questions and correcting astigmatism with toric lenses, doctors can help young people to see more clearly at school and during sports, potentially helping them to perform better. Adults with astigmatism can also appreciate gaining an extra line of vision with full contact lens correction.”

    Overall, the study offered useful information on the proportion of potential soft contact lens wearers requiring astigmatic correction, said co-author Graeme Young, PhD, FCOptom, DCLP.

    The study was sponsored by Vistakon/Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.

    For more articles in this issue of InDispensable, click here.