Specialist contact lenses
- You should inform patients who wear lenses overnight of the increased risk.
- Check-ups should be more frequent for those patients wearing contact lenses overnight because of the increased risk of complications.
- If you fit a patient with contact lenses for extended wear you should:
- make them aware that extended wear increases their risk of microbial keratitis
- teach them how to remove their lenses
- tell them the signs of possible complications to look out for and what to do in these circumstances
- ensure they attend for regular aftercare, and
- provide them with an out of hours contact number for emergencies and the number of the local eye casualty department.
- If the patient has extended wear lenses because of their disability and is unable to handle them, you must teach their carer how to remove the lenses. 126
- The frequency of contact lens check-ups depends upon factors including the patient’s:
- clinical status
- type of lens, and
- modality of wear.
- Because of the increased risk of complications, you should carry out contact lens check-ups for patients wearing lenses on an extended wear basis more frequently than those wearing lenses on a daily wear basis.
126 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians para 2.5 [Accessed 22 Oct 2017]
- You should explain the benefits and discuss the risks with the patient, or their parents if appropriate, so the patient can make an informed decision whether to be fitted with orthokeratology lenses, and in particular cover the:
- increase in risk of complications during overnight wear, and
- in the case of children, the further increase in risk.
- You should explain to patients that infectious keratitis is a sight threatening complication of overnight wear and tell them about:
- the importance of lens hygiene
- signs and symptoms to look out for
- the need for prompt medical care
- the importance of attending for regular aftercare, and
- an out of hours contact number for emergencies and the number of the local eye casualty department.