We have been approached by a specialist at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion who is looking for people to take part in a short study to look at the effect of removing your contact lenses on eye shape. As we have so many contact lens wearing patients, we have said we’ll let our patients know about this should they wish to be part of the pioneering study, which aims to better manage those who are due to undergo cataract surgery.
Please note: you need to take your lenses out for the duration of the study (around 12 days) and go to the eye hospital six times in that period so measurements can be taken. If you feel that your vision would be significantly affected by wearing your glasses, instead of your contact lenses, for the duration of the study we would advise that you do not take part.
What is the purpose of the study?
The aim of the study is to work out how long it takes for the shape of the cornea, the clear window at the front of your eye, to return to normal after removing a contact lens. Prior to cataract surgery the curvature of the cornea is measured to estimate what power of focussing lens implant is needed. Contact lenses alter the shape of the cornea and therefore patients are advised to remove their contact lenses for a period of time prior to their cataract assessment. Recommendations on when to remove contact lenses vary from department to department, ranging from a few days to a few months. If lenses are removed too soon then the patient will be without their lenses for longer than is necessary which can be restrictive. If lenses are removed too late then a false estimate of the focussing power of the cornea will be made, which may result in an incorrect lens choice during surgery.
What will happen if I take part?
If you are taking part in the research as a person who wears contact lenses, you will be required to wear your contact lenses as normal until the start of the study. At your first appointment they will perform two quick tests that measure the shape of the cornea immediately after removing your contact lenses. Each test is routinely performed in outpatient clinics and will take no longer than two minutes to complete. The first test is corneal biometry which uses a light beam to measure the curvature of your cornea. The second test is corneal pentacam, which is similar to biometry but records more detailed results.
You will be required to attend the clinic every two days until the measurements of your eye that we take are stable. We estimate that in total most participants will require six visits to the clinic. Some people may need more. Each appointment will take about 10-15 minutes and we will agree the date and time of your next appointment prior to leaving the clinic.
This research may benefit the entire population of contact lens wearers by adding valuable information about how to maximise the accuracy of lens implants for contact lens wearers who need cataract surgery.
What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
The major burden for participants is that they will not be able to wear contact lenses for the duration of the study, which should be about 12 days.
Your vision may be slightly different when wearing your glasses than compared to your contact lenses. Some people find their vision improves and some may find it worsens. If you feel that your day-to-day life will be significantly affected by wearing your glasses instead of your contact lenses for the duration of the study then we would advise you not to take part in the study.
What will happen to the results of the study?
The study will be written up and submitted to a peer reviewed journal. You will not be identifiable in any published results.
Who is organising the research?
This study has been organised by Dr Colin Goudie, who is the Chief Investigator. He is an Ophthalmology Registrar at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh and sponsored by NHS Lothian.
If you would be interesting in assisting in this study or have any further questions about the study please contact Dr Colin Goudie at [email protected].