Children’s vision is a priority area for the College. This project sought to provide much needed, sound data relating to the scope, scale and nature of contact lens practice among optometrists in the UK in relation to children and young people. The developments in contact lens materials have increased the variety of products available, but there is very limited information about whether these changes have had any impact on optometric practice.
Why did we carry out the study?
We wanted to understand attitudes and behaviours towards prescribing contact lenses for children and young people. Until now this information about UK optometrists has not been available. These results can be used to build a picture of what is happening in practice, helping all optometrists understand how their prescribing habits compare with colleagues. The results can also be used as a benchmark to measure changes in the future.
The results from this survey can be used to make comparisons with the prescribing habits of optometrists in other countries. For example, a survey was performed by the American Optometric Association (AOA) in 2010 and the results from both surveys can be compared to see how UK and American optometrists differ in their practice. Initial comparisons show that for every age group, UK optometrists are less likely to prescribe contact lenses as a principal form of correction than US colleagues.