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The fitting process

Only optometrists, doctors and contact lens opticians may fit contact lenses.140, 141
When fitting contact lenses, you must:
  1. ensure the type and brand of contact lens and care regimen are suitable for the patient
  2. tell the patient how to wear and care for the contact lenses safely and hygienically
  3. record any information or advice you have given the patient
  4. recommend a wearing schedule that is in line with manufacturer’s labelling instructions.
You should:
  1. determine and advise on the length of the fitting period. This should be long enough for you to be satisfied that the patient has adapted to the contact lenses and that there is unlikely to be any change in the patient’s ocular health. This will be when you decide that the patient does not need any contact lens check-ups, other than those scheduled routinely. The fitting period will usually be less than three months This can vary, depending on:
    • contact lens type and modality of wear
    • how quickly the patient adapts to the contact lenses
    • the likelihood of a change in the patient’s ocular health
    • other clinical findings
  2. tell the patient if the fitting will take longer than expected and record the reasons for this on the patient record.
When the fitting is complete (see paragraph A352a), you must give the patient their contact lens specification.142
You should not fit yourself with contact lenses because you cannot conduct the appropriate examinations on yourself.
After fitting powered or zero powered contact lenses you must explain the care, wearing, treatment, cleaning and maintenance of the contact lenses to the patient, and provide written information.143, 144
You must tell the patient how to:
  1. apply and remove their contact lenses
  2. care for (store, treat, disinfect and clean) their contact lenses,
  3. schedule the wearing and replacement intervals of their contact lenses
You should tell the patient to seek professional advice:
  1. if they experience discomfort, redness, watering, visual disturbance or other problems
  2. before changing to a solution which has not been recommended by you
  3. before accepting a supply of substitute contact lenses.


140 Opticians Act 1989 s25(1) [Accessed 1 Nov 2023]
141 General Optical Council (1985) Rules on the Fitting of Contact Lenses. SI 856 [Accessed 1 Nov 2023]
142 Opticians Act 1989 s25(5)(a) [Accessed 1 Nov 2023]
143 Opticians Act 1989 s25(5)(b) [Accessed 1 Nov 2023]
144 Council Directive 93/42/EEC concerning medical devices [1993] OJ L169/1 [Accessed 1 Nov 2023]