Contact Lens Institute™ Data Illustrates Significant Upside Opportunity for Eye Care Practices and Pinpoints What Drives Consideration  

The Contact Lens Institute (CLI) has published an in-depth report on everyday actions that the eye care community can take to draw interest from potential and former contact lens wearers. Based on research with more than 1,000 vision-corrected adults segmented by glasses-only wearers, new contact lens wearers, and contact lens dropouts,  “Beyond Vision: Behaviors to Attract New & Returning Contact Lens Wearers” is the latest offering from CLI’s See Tomorrow initiative, which helps practices thrive using exclusive consumer data  and insights.  

The 26-page document includes multiple infographics depicting high value takeaways, which are ideal for staff training. Another 19 quick take columns and bulleted checklists offer practical implementation tips, all of which were contributed by 2024 CLI Visionaries. The report is available for download or online reading at  

“With 47.8% of glasses wearers indicating a high interest in trying contact lenses, and lapsed contact lens wearers signaling what would motivate them to resume use, the tremendous untapped potential for the category is unmistakable,” said Stan Rogaski, CLI’s executive director.  “Our research found specific areas of consumer excitement, concern, and misperception that eye care practices can leverage to aid more efficient and effective contact lens conversations among likely candidates. Better yet, these aspects can be reinforced easily and quickly across the entire  patient experience, from appointment scheduling to the exam to follow-up, by every member of  the practice team.”  

Highlights explored within the “Beyond Vision” report include: 

  • Sources of contact lens influence, led by optometrists and ophthalmologists (66% of glasses wearers / 46% of new contact lens wearers), opticians (44% of glasses wearers /  26% of new contact lens wearers), and friends and family (40% of glasses wearers, 31%  of new contact lens wearers).
  • A ranking of 25 factors that would aid potential wearers’ consideration of contacts, with an eye doctor explaining why contacts can benefit a patient placing first (66%). Other aspects that practice teams may take for granted were also evident, such as understanding insertion and removal (52%), taking trial lenses home (51%), and knowing about the range of price and performance options (47%).  
  • Primary motivators for initial contact lens trial among new wearers, who called out freedom from glasses (44%), personal appearance (42%), and ease of use (39%) as the most significant. 
  • A review of which contact lens advancements spark the most excitement, with toric designs (46%) and UV protection (43%) cited most by potential wearers, and contacts for digital device use and UV protection tied for the highest spot (64%) by new contact lens wearers. 
  • Practice behaviors that detract from contact lens trial, including a lack of exam staff raising the subject, not alerting patients they were candidates, and not providing contact lens information—all cited by about 20% of glasses-only respondents. 
  • Additional non-behavioral issues that dissuade trial, including fear factors such as patients not wanting to touch their eye (44%) and infection concerns (25%); affordability (30%);  and misperceptions that having dry eye (27%) and astigmatism (17%) prevent contact lens wear—most of which can be addressed through communication. 
  • Ratings from former contact lens wearers of what would motivate them to return, split by those who dropped out within the past two years compared to longer-term dropouts.  Among more recent dropouts, awareness of new advances (55%), a renewed conversation with their eye doctor about contact lens benefits (50%), dual/part-time wear alongside glasses (50%), and the availability of trial lenses (50%) were at the top. Those who abandoned wear longer ago placed the most weight on being made aware of contact lenses for a specific eye condition (85%), of new advances and technologies (74%), price and performance options (72%) and access to trial lenses (66%). 
  • The additive value of having contact lens advocates throughout the practice, as up to 30%  of glasses-only wearers reported that such enthusiasm would influence their decision to try contacts. When it comes to discussing the benefits of contact lenses, the research outcomes emphasized the importance of doctors personally having that conversation,  versus fully delegating information sharing to their teams. For glasses wearers, the recommendation from the optometrist or ophthalmologist matters to 66% of them,  compared to 22% for eye exam staff and 8% for eyewear display staff.

2024 CLI Visionaries who contributed to “Beyond Vision” are Monica Bhula, OD; Shelby Brogdon,  OD; Andrew S. Bruce, LDO, ABOM, NCLEM, FCLSA; Jenn Seymour Brusven, LDO, NCLE-AC,  ABO-AC, AAS; Ariel Cerenzie, OD, FAAO, FSLS; Angelica Cifuentes, OD; Jade Coats, OD;  Jason Compton, OD, FAAO; Janelle Davison, OD; Sabrina Gaan, OD; Lisa Hornick, OD, MBA,  FAAO; Diana Mejia; Scott Moscow, OD; Ashley O’Dwyer, OD; Shalu Pal, OD, FAAO, FSLS,  FBCLA, FIAOMC; Adam Ramsey, OD; Noha Seif, OD, FAAO, FSLS; Dana Shannon, OD, FAAO;  and Jennifer Tsai, OD. 

The research was commissioned by the Contact Lens Institute and conducted by Prodege from  February 1-9, 2024, via an online survey. Respondents included 1,053 vision-corrected adults ages 18-64 residing in the United States. 

The Contact Lens Institute advances the latest innovations in safe and effective contact lens and lens care products and services that provide unique benefits to patients while satisfying the evolving needs of eye care professionals. CLI undertakes activities that properly assess, enhance, promote, and balance contact lens and lens care industry welfare and growth, including the safe use of products in the marketplace. Its members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision,  and Johnson & Johnson Vision. For more information, visit  

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Mike McDougall, FAAO, APR, Fellow PRSA 

McDougall Communications for the Contact Lens Institute 

+1.585.545.1815 or