The College of Optometrists

The fitting process

A350
Only optometrists, doctors and contact lens opticians may fit contact lenses.127, 128 
A351
When fitting contact lenses you must:
  1. ensure the type and brand of contact lens and care regimen are suitable for the patient
  2. tell the patient how to wear and care for the contact lenses safely and hygienically
  3. record any information or advice you have given the patient
  4. recommend a wearing schedule that is in line with manufacturer’s labelling instructions.
A352
You should:
  • determine and advise on the length of the fitting period. This should be long enough for you to be satisfied that the patient has adapted to the contact lenses and that there is unlikely to be any change in the patient’s ocular health. This will be when you decide that the patient does not need any contact lens check-ups, other than those scheduled routinely. The fitting period will usually be less than three months This can vary, depending on:
    • contact lens type and modality of wear
    • how quickly the patient adapts to the contact lenses
    • the likelihood of a change in the patient’s ocular health
    • other clinical findings
  • tell the patient if the fitting will take longer than expected and record the reasons for this on the patient record.
A353
When the fitting is complete (see paragraph A352a), you must give the patient their contact lens specification.129
A354
You should not fit yourself with contact lenses because you cannot conduct the appropriate examinations on yourself.
A355
After fitting powered or zero powered contact lenses you must explain the care, wearing, treatment, cleaning and maintenance of the contact lenses to the patient, and provide written information.130, 131
A356
You must tell the patient how to:
  • apply and remove their contact lenses
  • care for (store, treat, disinfect and clean) their contact lenses,
  • schedule the wearing and replacement intervals of their contact lenses
A357
You should tell the patient to seek professional advice:
  • if they experience discomfort, redness, watering, visual disturbance or other problems
  • before changing to a solution which has not been recommended by you
  • before accepting a supply of substitute contact lenses.

References

127 Opticians Act 1989 s25(1) [Accessed 19 Nov 2020]
128 General Optical Council (1985) Rules on the Fitting of Contact Lenses. SI 856 [Accessed 19 Nov 2020]
129 Opticians Act 1989 s25(5)(a) [Accessed 19 Nov 2020]
130 Opticians Act 1989 s25(5)(b) [Accessed 19 Nov 2020]
131 Council Directive 93/42/EEC concerning medical devices [1993] OJ L169/1 [Accessed 19 Nov 2020 ]

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