CLEAR Report Paper 9: Evidence-based contact lens practice 

Using a tried and tested combination of fact-based decision making and clinical experience can give patients the best possible eye care management plan – leading to a lifetime of happy and healthy contact lens wear.

That is the overwhelming conclusion of the penultimate paper in a series to be released as part of the new Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR) – a global consensus report put together by the BCLA.

This report identifies how judgements can be made on the strength of evidence provided by different research study designs and incorporated with clinical experience and patient values/preferences to identify the most appropriate management plan. 

It identifies the evidence that informs the conduct of a history and symptoms, anterior eye examination, contact lens selection (required measurements, parameter and material choice), evaluation of lens fit and visual performance, prescribing considerations (including teaching application and removal, compliance and considerations for astigmatism and presbyopia) and aftercare appointments for soft and rigid lenses. 

The paper will inform eye care professionals of what is current best practice along with identifying areas where further research is needed.

The paper’s first author is Professor James Wolffsohn, with co-authors Kathy Dumbleton, Byki Huntjens, Himal Kandel, Dr. Shizuka Koh, Carolina Kunnen, Manbir Nagra, Anna Sulley, Heiko Pult, Dr. Fiona Stapleton, Marta Vianya-Estopa, Karen Walsh and Stephanie Wong.

Professor James Wolffsohn said: “It has been an important process identifying areas of clinical practice that are not evidence-based and should be updated; there are also elements of common practice that are not informed by research, highlighting the need for future studies.”

The paper, titled ‘Evidence-based contact lens practice’, will be released as part of a new series of evidence-based guidance available to eye care professionals around the world on all aspects of prescribing and fitting contact lenses as part of a concerted drive to provide the best possible patient care. 

CLEAR, made possible by educational grants from Alcon and CooperVision, will be published in the April 2021 issue of the BCLA journal ‘Contact Lens and Anterior Eye’ and will feature work from panels of globally respected experts. 

It will set the standard to which researchers and eye care professionals will refer for the latest information in the field and will also highlight potential opportunities for future research.