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AOP Awards 2017

Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year

Suresh Munyal is the Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year 2017

Winner: Suresh Munyal

Suresh Munyal splits his time between independent practice and hospital optometry and says that he’s always excited to find new challenges and innovations.

Contact lens practitioner, Suresh Munyal, joined the profession in 1982 and says he has been lucky to be involved in every aspect of contact lens practice. He explains: “I am privileged to see patients with a diverse range of eye conditions and I am motivated by enabling positive, and often life-enhancing, changes in my patients’ vision.”

Spending one day a week at the eye department of University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, Mr Munyal takes on the most challenging cases of contact lens fitting, including patients with keratoconic, post graft, cosmetic, extremely high prescription, ptosis props, symbleharon rings, and other corneal and oculoplastic conditions.

He admits that patient reactions can differ, especially when fitting children with aphakic contact lenses following congenital cataract extraction. The best he experienced was a ‘very tight hug from an aphakic toddler.’

In independent practice, Mr Munyal is committed to making contact lenses an option for as many patients as possible. He is particularly passionate about the challenges of managing the eyes of elderly patients saying: “Managing age-related eye conditions with contact lenses requires a little bit more thought, and this is where the fun aspect comes in.”

Mr Munyal is enthusiastic about passing on his knowledge, supervising pre-reg students in practice and providing training through his contact lens clinic at the hospital. He has also supported colleagues in becoming confident in fitting contact lenses, he explains: “I have three colleagues who qualified less than five years ago. With some training and support from me they are now fitting ortho-k, myopia control contact lenses, keratoconic contact lenses and prosthetic lenses.”

Part way through his independent prescribing qualification, the contact lens practitioner aims to keep up to date with the latest developments, and cites the constant innovation in the sector as one of the aspects that drew him to the role. Commenting on the fast moving world, he says: “New materials, wearing modalities, manufacturing methods and expectations from patients are what keep me interested. Work is a three-letter word called ‘fun’ for me and my patients.”

Runners up

Finalist: Indie Grewal

Practice owner, optometrist, dispensing optician and contact lens practitioner Indie Grewal enjoys trialling new lenses and keeping his patients up to date.

Working in independent practice, Mr Grewal has made his business stand out with a focus on multifocal lenses, and enjoys using the latest technologies and techniques to convert non-contact lens wearers. He was awarded a fellowship for the BCLA in 2015.

Finalist: Nick Black

Nick Black aims to make contact lenses accessible for all and believes that listening to his patient’s needs is the first step to success.

Committed to treating patients of all ages, Mr Black is proud to have significantly increased the number of presbyopic contact lens wearers in the practice. He has also taken the lead in educating patients about contact lens use from a young age.