Bill Harvey: Curved air
Author: Yiannis Kotoulas
Last week I heard how, on top of everything, our local hospital had to deal with an infestation of ‘wee timorous beasties’. Luckily, only the Burns Unit seemed to be affected. Hats off to colleagues north of the border. Let’s hope the increasing noise about reconsidering independence does not lead to further division within UK eye care. I am still one of the few who think, one day, we will be supported to dilate everyone over 60 years having an eye test in England and Wales.
Repeated lockdowns have forced some changes in the way optometrist trainees are assessed. In a bid to minimise contact time with patients, one of these has been to remove the need to fit a soft lens to a patient under assessor observation. Instead, they watch a video of a soft lens on eye and describe the fit. That this is likely to be stopped in the future comes as no surprise because, as anyone fitting soft lenses regularly will know, most have a single parameter set and, in the unlikely event of one not fitting, the usual solution is to refit with a different lens altogether. This almost always works, even when the new lens has exactly similar parameters. A new paper in CLAE underlines this.1 The always excellent Eef van der Worp and colleagues have confirmed there are often considerable differences in contact lens sag values, even between lenses of the same base curve. Variation is also significant between toric and spherical options for the same lens design so the only real way to confirm fit is through application and assessment in clinic. Keep the keratometer for non-invasive break-up times.
Finally, to help educate anti-vaxxers, I strongly recommend an excellent evidence-based website which also debunks all of the commonly touted myths perfectly. Go to www.covidfaq.co.