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The Contact Lens Manual: A Practical Guide to Fitting, 3rd Ed.

Richdale, Kathryn

Optometry and Vision Science: April 2004 - Volume 81 - Issue 4 - p 230
Book Review

The Ohio State University College of Optometry Columbus, Ohio

The Contact Lens Manual: A Practical Guide to Fitting, 3rd Ed., Andrew Gasson and Judith Morris. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003. Pages: 480, includes CD-ROM. Price: $67.95. ISBN 0-7506-5548-8.

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The 3rd edition of the Contact Lens Manual is a well-designed update to the preceding 1998 edition. The book was initially designed to be “a practical guide to all aspects of contact lens fitting.” The third edition keeps this goal in mind and expands on the more current modalities of disposable soft contact lenses, silicone hydrogel lenses, and orthokeratology.

The latest edition is divided into 32 chapters, which begin with the basics and progress to more complex contact lens designs and fitting. Well designed tables, charts, and figures throughout make the book easily readable and highly effective. Sections in each chapter highlight general and practical advice and serve as excellent quick references.

The book commences with a succinct review of the basics. Corneal anatomy and physiology, and details concerning various lens material properties and manufacturing processes, are presented in significant depth. Information on basic instrumentation used in a contact lens examination is well summarized. The first two chapters serve as good learning tools for students, but are also an apt review of important facts for established clinicians.

The next few chapters concentrate on the initial care and selection of the contact lens patient. Topics such as hygiene and disinfection, doctor-patient discussions, advantages and disadvantages of contact lenses, and record keeping are just a few of the issues discussed. While some of the general information is very useful and practical, certain specifics may not prove useful because they are based on European standards. Overall, these chapters provide a good starting point for a young practitioner determining good contact lens candidates and selecting and discussing his or her best contact lens options.

The main discussion of contact lenses begins in chapter seven. Gas permeable lenses are thoroughly described, beginning with the fundamentals and smoothly flowing into more difficult concepts of lens design. The book makes lens selection, fitting, and interpretation of fluorescein patterns straightforward and easy to understand. Still, while the basics are good, the specific contact lens examples used in the text may be unfamiliar to the American practitioner.

The authors provide a good starting point for practitioners interested in learning more about specialty rigid lenses. Orthokeratology, reverse geometry lenses, and scleral lenses are some of the lenses reviewed. The book is not meant to serve as a comprehensive fitting guide for complex lens designs, but it does open doors for new opportunities in fitting.

The next seven chapters cover everything from the basics of soft contact lens fitting and design to examples of different types and characteristics of lenses. There are separate chapters dedicated to disposable lenses, silicone hydrogels, and extended wear. Again, the specific examples used may not be familiar, but the general concepts are useful. Although specific lens parameters are listed, sources such as Tyler’s Quarterly should be used instead of this book because it may quickly become dated.

More sophisticated lens designs are covered in the following three chapters. The basics of how and when to use soft and rigid torics, and how to fit and modify fitting, are especially useful for students and new practitioners. The chapter on presbyopic contact lenses gives a good starting point for doctors interested in pursuing this newer lens modality.

The chapters following the discussion of soft contact lenses give a variety of pertinent contact lens instruction. The book presents information on everything from “special lens features” such as lens identification, tints, and fenestrations, to useful notes on components of general contact lens solutions and recommendations for patient instruction, such as insertion and removal and wearing schedule.

Follow-up care and treatment of contact lens-related problems such as infections and inflammations are outlined, but should not be used as a guide for treatment and management of disease since it is not based on the U.S. standard of care.

The last few chapters touch on the therapeutic and non-therapeutic use of contact lenses in children and options for fitting irregular eyes such as keratoconus, post surgical corneas, and aphakia.

Finally, the book has both a glossary of contact lens related terms and an appendix with common conversion tables. An accompanying CD-ROM contains photos described in the text, fluorescein fitting pattern examples, corneal topography simulations, and various calculator tools. The CD is easily installed and operated and can make an excellent teaching tool for students, staff, or patients.

Overall, the authors did an exceptional job of providing a comprehensive and concise reference for contact lenses. The book is valuable for everyone from optometry students learning new material to new practitioners wishing to expand their current fitting skills or well-established doctors hoping to update themselves on the newest lens options.

© 2004 American Academy of Optometry