Contact lens prescribing trends in the UK hospital eye service

Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2022 Oct;45(5):101594. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2022.101594. Epub 2022 Apr 1.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the types of contact lenses fitted by hospital optometrists within the Midlands region of the United Kingdom (UK).

Method: A questionnaire was sent to all the lead optometrists of the Midlands Hospital Optometry Group (MHOG). This group includes optometry hospital eye departments within the Midlands region of the UK. The questionnaire requested information of their last ten contact lens fitting appointments. Details of the patient's age, gender, lens type, wearing times, and presenting condition were retrospectively taken from the patients' records using the appointment diary to identify the last ten patients fitted with contact lenses.

Results: Details from a total of 109 contact lens fits were collected. This included 45 females and 64 males with a mean age of 39.4 ± 17.4 years. The mean wearing time was 6.3 ± 1.0 days per week and 10.7 ± 5.1 h per day. Sixty-one percent of the contact lenses fitted were for patients with keratoconus and over half of all the contact lenses fitted were corneal rigid gas permeable lenses.

Conclusion: This study highlighted that the main reason for fitting contact lenses in hospital contact lens practice is primary corneal ectasia, and mainly keratoconus. Whilst most patients with keratoconus were fitted with corneal rigid gas permeable contact lenses, around 1 in 6 were fitted with soft contact lenses. This study addresses a gap in the literature about contact lenses fitted in UK hospitals and how they differ from community contact lens practice.

Keywords: Contact lenses; Hospital eye service; Keratoconus; Prescribing trends; Speciality contact lens fitting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic*
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Keratoconus*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optometry*
  • Prosthesis Fitting
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult