Contact Lens Principles & Problems
Prescribing and fitting contact lenses have become an integral part of today’s comprehensive eyecare practice. More than 30 million people in the United States wear contact lenses, with the majority using them for cosmetic purposes. Other reasons for wearing contact lenses include occupational preferences, sports, and therapeutic uses.
Ophthalmic dispensers may function in a contact lens practice by taking a patient history, obtaining basic preliminary refractive measurements, and performing lensometry and keratometry. With experience, responsibilities may include the fitting of the lenses, confirming lens parameters, and suggesting lens modifications. Because opticians often are required to help educate patients in the proper use and care of their contact lenses and to help assess patients’ related problems, a basic understanding of contact lens principles, types, appropriate use, and problems is necessary.
This course describes how contact lenses work to correct vision, how they differ from eyeglasses, and the types of lenses available and their uses. Lens care is emphasized because improper care can lead to problems. Procedures for inserting and removing lenses are presented, as well as a discussion of commonly encountered problems and of the types of patients who may be unable to wear contact lenses successfully.
Although you can read extensively on the subject of contact lenses, the most productive and practical knowledge will come from observing contact lens fitting, talking to patients who have worn contact lenses, and actually trying on contact lenses yourself.