The Great Contact Lens Deception

Sadly the majority of our new patients come to us for a second opinion having failed elsewhere!

Often, the reason for failure is that the previous Optician only fitted one or two ‘off the peg’ branded contact lenses which simply don’t suit everyone – this is why our specialisation is so important!

The vast majority of new patients we see also believe they should NOT wear contact lenses all day and that, for safety, the eyes need a breather.

The American Food & Drugs Administration (probably the world’s most stringent safety body)  will only approve contact lenses that are suitable for full day wear or up to 30 nights continuous sleep-in. In a Country with the highest levels of litigation would this leading Government safety body endorse anything the remotest bit dangerous?

So why do so many UK opticians, especially the High Street commercial chains tell their patients that all day wear is dangerous – do they know better than the FDA?

I departed Dolland & Aitchison in 1973 because I was told I must not fit soft contact lenses because too many people were swapping from glasses. Since I fitted contact lenses in 13 D&A shops around the Midland’s, apparently I was seriously damaging the company’s profit margins. Contact Lenses are very time consuming and don’t produce anything like the profit that is made from glasses sales.

Just one of the reasons why patients are erroneously told they are not suitable for contact lenses!

Later, realising they couldn’t ‘buck the trend’ towards beautifully comfy soft lenses, came the managerial edict that every contact lens wearer should be advised only to wear their lenses for 8 -10 hours a day.

The reason was commercial – every contact lens wearer was a ‘target’ to be sold another new pair of glasses every year or so!

We only advise on the basis of clinical need not sales figures – yes we strongly advise all contact lens wearers to maintain a serviceable pair of glasses in a recent prescription for emergencies but we expect our patients to be able wear their lenses comfortably all their waking hours, or sleeping if appropriate!

If you have friends who cannot wear their lenses all day long with comfort then almost certainly they require more specialist custom designed lenses so please do advise them to contact us for our specialist advice!