Diagnostic Contact Lenses

We have a few patients who regularly call seeking free trial contact lenses. Most of these “clients” have never bought any contact lenses from us- they just request more free diagnostic lenses. All of these “clients” are also all advised that they must return for a contact lens check before we can finalise their prescription and ensure that the lenses are fitting properly, so that they do not harm their eyes.

Mostly, having issued trial contact lenses, we will not see them again for 6 months, when once again they are looking for more trials, because they have a Christmas party, or they have a “family wedding tomorrow”, and as they have no contact lenses we cannot check them in their eyes. As an aside “free trial” diagnostic lenses are not free, we pay for them, at the very least we pay for shipping.

I find this a difficult situation- I need to see the lenses in their eyes, ideally after about 4 hours of wear on the day- soft contact lenses almost always look to fit well when just inserted- but if they wear all of the diagnostics, how am I supposed to check them?

We have to fix this – we cannot issue contact lenses on an ongoing basis to people who do not have a valid contact lens prescription!

The only solution to this is that no trial contact lenses will be issued without a check appointment being booked, and if the client fails to show for that appointment, no further lenses will be issued. We do try very hard to be accommodating, but there was a chap due to come in for a contact lens check in Kingscourt on Saturday, who has been “trialling” contact lenses on and off since 2012, and once again he did not show for his check appointment. He recently stated that he “might get his eyes tested this year”. His spectacle prescription is now out of date, and we have never finalised his contact lens prescription- he won’t be getting any more contact lenses, at all, ever, from us!

I would personally like to apologise for this, but we are legally and professionally responsible for all contact lenses issued – they are classed as medical devices, and it seems that there are numerous patients in Kingscourt, who have been “trialling” contact lenses, sometimes on and off, for over four years.

No more. They will be issued with one pair to apply 4 hours before their appointment, if they do not show……

  1. Ian
    IanJanuary 13, 2018

    I just came across this post, while checking for glitches with the new theme framework. The chap I mentioned above who “might get his eyes tested” called me recently at 5.55pm.

    “Hi when do you close and whereabouts are you?”
    We closed at 5.30, and we are right beside the Post Office.
    “Great, I’ll be there in 10 minutes, I have an emergency”

    This person had got contact lenses in Specsavers, and thought he had one stuck in his eye, which was very red and sore. I was unable to find any lens, but his eye was very mucousy and red, with many white fibres – this was because he had been rubbing around the inside of his eyelids with dry cotton buds for most of the day. I advised him to stop rubbing his eye, leave it alone and it would be fine. He returned the next day, still feeling that there was a lens in there, and again I had to say I couldn’t see one. Though he was denying rubbing his eye, it was still very red with the same discharge, but it seemed to me that he had replaced the cotton buds with tissues, and was rubbing the eye’s surface with that now…..

    I had to refer him to his GP – it is difficult to see the entirety of the eye’s surface to check for misplaced lenses, especially when the person can’t keep their eyes open as they are sore, but most often misplaced contact lenses will fall out by themselves, so we often find no lens is there. But you can’t prove a negative – just cos I can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there! – it is easier for us to find a lens and remove it, or the pieces to make sure we got a whole one.

    But this time he had a cloudy cornea. I am sure it was the result of mechanical trauma and excessive tearing, but to be on the safe side, I had to send him to a doctor for a second opinion. Especially as he did not seem to be listening to my advice….

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