Reduce New Wearer Dropout

How can eye care professionals help
reduce dropout rates among new contact lens wearers?

There’s no doubt that contact lenses provide a wide array of benefits, but despite those benefits, many new wearers drop out of lenses shortly after starting.

As part of the CooperVision Consumer Insight Series, we conducted a survey* with new contact lens wearers to identify why people begin wearing contact lenses—and why some continue to wear them, while others drop out.

The biggest benefits of contact lenses, according to new wearers:

38 percent ability to play sports or participate in physical activities
37 percent wearing glasses of their choosing
34 percent more confident of their appearance
37 percent seeing clearly during activities in which they can't wear glasses

Despite the benefits, some wearers drop out.

3 and 6 months after starting:

31 percent

said they would likely stop wearing lenses in the next 6 months


1 in 4 new wearers identified handling and comfort as top obstacles

contact lenses


Difficulty handling the lens

handling the lens


Uncomfortable putting the lenses on and/or taking them out

contact lenses discomfort


Discomfort while wearing

However, 75% reported no problems with these factors.

When wearers stay in lenses beyond 6 months, the dropout rate falls by42 percent

9 months after starting:

only 19 percent

said they would likely stop wearing lenses in the next 6 months

12 months after starting:

only 18 percent

said they would likely stop wearing lenses in the next 6 months

Committed new wearers—those who don’t plan to drop out in the next 6 months—appreciate the benefits even MORE

57 percent more
46 percent more
42 percent more
34 percent more

The key is helping wearers surpass the 6-month milestone

aqua arrow
red arrow


time in lenses
(6-12 months)


likely to
drop out


benefits realized

So, what makes a desirable contact lens—one that wearers want to stay with?

Health and Hydration


Are healthier for the eye (allow for more oxygen to get to the cornea)



Improve hydration (to relieve dryness)




UV protection



Help with eye tiredness caused by digital device use


Help with eye tiredness caused by digital device use

What to do in practice

Step 1

Ask your patients about their lifestyle. By better understanding their needs, you can recommend vision-correction solutions that help fit their lifestyle.

Step 2

To help ensure success, follow up with your patients and ask whether they are encountering any challenges with their new lenses, such as applying or removing.

Step 3

Encourage your patients to stay with their new lenses for at least 9 to 12 months.

These insights can help you make personalized contact lens recommendations—for the comfortable, effective, long-term lens wearing experience your patients deserve.

*We surveyed >1,000 adults in the United States and Germany who had been wearing contact lenses for between 2 and 12 months.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,013 adults (511 in United States, 502 in Germany). Fieldwork was undertaken between October 24 and November 9, 2018. The survey was conducted online.