Clinical Manual of Specialized Contact Lens Prescribing. Terry R. Scheid. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002. Pages: 222. Price: $44.99. ISBN 0-7506-9924-8.
New advances in technology have expanded the armamentarium of specialized contact lenses available to the clinician and improved the likelihood for success in patients requiring complicated contact lens prescriptions. The Clinical Manual of Specialized Contact Lens Prescribing provides a review of the basics involved with some of the more difficult cases. It attempts to serve as a quick guide for the clinician who needs a reference in prescribing or designing these specialized contact lenses. It is not written as an all-inclusive textbook on the subject. This paperback would serve as a short reference for the primary care optometrist or general ophthalmologist to keep available when seeing more challenging contact lens cases. It does not, however, provide an expansive review of complicated contact lens prescribing.
This manual, edited by Terry R. Scheid, OD, FAAO, contains chapters written by contributing authors who are on the faculty at various colleges of optometry or who serve as consultants within the contact lens industry. The manual contains eight chapters that address some of the areas of specialized contact lens prescribing, which include spherical rigid-gas permeable (RGP) lenses, RGP modifications, toric soft contact lenses (SCL), keratoconus, toric RGP lenses, postrefractive surgery lens fitting, orthokeratology, and contact lens complications. Specialty areas that are notably absent from the reviewed list include prescribing in aphakia, bifocal contact lenses (RGP and SCL), corneas having undergone penetrating keratoplasty, corneas sustaining trauma, extended contact lens wear (RGP and SCL), and also therapeutic soft (bandage) contact lenses.
The chapters are concise and well written and provide the most relevant information on the topic to readers. The depth of the information provided by the authors varies throughout the different chapters in the book. Pertinent case examples are included at the close of nearly every chapter. Detailed discussions are included for the chapters on RGP lens modifications, soft toric contact lenses, and refractive surgery. The chapter reviewing contact lens complications offers a thorough analysis of the ocular changes induced by contact lens wear, but the review is limited to contact lens-induced changes and does not include a differential list of ocular diseases that may present with similar signs or symptoms. Commonly available therapeutic options are not always covered in treatment recommendations within the same chapter.
This manual provides a well-referenced index and glossary that should be simple for the clinician to utilize. Thirty-one color plates in total are provided within the text as a representative sample of some of the more common lens-to-cornea fitting relationships and some of the contact lens-associated ocular complications. Unfortunately, not all of these photographs provide justice to the condition that they are attempting to illustrate. Notably absent in the color plates are examples of contact lens fits after either LASIK or PRK or any contact lens fits in patients undergoing orthokeratology.
In summary, the Clinical Manual of Specialized Contact Lens Prescribing meets its aims for providing a brief reference in a few of the more common areas of specialized contact lens prescribing. It would be a useful reference to any ophthalmic care provider who is regularly prescribing uncomplicated contact lenses and only occasionally sees patients in which a more detailed knowledge of specialized contact lenses is required. Considering its restricted coverage of specialty contact lenses—a much wider range than is covered in this text—I would recommend this text only to those who have a limited need for specialty lens information.