Over the past two years contact lens wear has been increasingly embraced by respondents. From the 12-month period ending in September 2005 (12 ME Sept ’05) to the 12 month period ending in September 2007 (12 ME Sept ’07), the percentage of wearers rose from 18.2 to 20.0, according to VisionWatch. And while the overall wear of contact lenses is on the rise, they have especially been making a hit with females. Over the past three years, the amount of women respondents reporting they wear contacts has crept up from 22.2 percent in 12 ME ’05 to 24.1 in 12 ME ’06 to 26.5 percent in 12 ME ’07. Men have been less consistently dedicated to wearing contacts; their usage in the 12 ME ’07 was slightly lower than it has been over the previous two years, wavering between 14.1 percent and 14.4 percent in ’05 and ’06, respectively, and then dropping down to 12.9 percent in the 12 ME in ’07. Fun for all ages, contact lens wear increased for every age group in 12 ME Sept ’07, although the 18 to 34 group showed the biggest interest in contact lenses—32.1 percent said they were currently wearing in the 12 ME Sept ’07. The older the age group, the more contact lens use tapers off with the 55-plus group wearing contacts less than the others

For more than half of respondents, there is a whole lot more contact with their pillows at night than with their lenses. According to the 2007 Contact Lens Wearers Insight Sight Survey, 52 percent of respondents give their eyes a break by taking out their contact lenses before going to sleep after wearing the lenses all day long. 13.6 percent have separation anxiety and can’t bear to part with their contacts, wearing them all of the time, usually including while sleeping. On the other hand, a comparable amount of respondents are having contact lens commitment issues— 11.8 percent said they only occasionally wear their contact lenses.

Over half of respondents have declared their independents as the place of choice to purchase contact lenses—59.2 percent bought at an independent optical practitioner or optical chain in 2007, according to the 2007 Contact Lens Wearers Insight Survey. Over a fifth went to the masses for their lenses—21.8 percent flocked to a mass merchandiser such as Wal*Mart or Costco. Mail and phone orders such as Lens Express or 1-800- CONTACT and orders from Internet web sites were slightly less popular sources for buying lenses with business from 8.3 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.

Get in contact with contact lens buying trends with Jobson Research’s Contact Lens Wearers Insight Survey.These stats give a peek into the behaviors and attitudes of consumers buying contact lenses. The cost is $125 and you can order it online at www.jobsonresearch.com/Publ.htm or by contacting Beth Briggs at bbriggs@jobson.com or (212) 219-7825. Just in time for Vision Expo East, the survey will be available at Vision Expo East at the research table at the Jobson Booth.