Better education efforts are needed to improve contact lens hygiene behaviours globally, a contact lens organisation has agreed, stressing the importance of trained professionals in the fitting process.

A position paper by the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) called for trained professionals to be involved in the fitting and supply of contact lenses in all countries to help ensure their proper use.

It follows a US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report on the issue last month calling for better education on the issue of hygiene.

IACLE pointed out that while contact lenses were worn by over 180 million people worldwide, regulations on fitting and supply varied widely.

In some countries, including the UK, legislation requires that contact lenses only be fitted by a suitably trained and qualified eye care or health professional, while in other countries it remained unregulated.

Contact lenses may be restricted to specified personnel, or be available via routes such as pharmacies, supermarkets and online suppliers, or from unregulated optical shops, depending on country.

‘IACLE’s position is that whenever contact lenses are fitted and supplied, safeguards must be in place to help protect the health and comfort of wearers’ eyes.

‘The involvement of a trained professional in contact lens fitting and supply is important to the proper use of contact lenses worldwide. Instruction and advice on contact lens wear and care is an essential step in promoting safe use and helping wearers enjoy the many benefits of contact lenses,’ the paper added.