Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year 2018

Faye McDearmid, from Campbell & McDearmid Optometrists, has won Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year 2018

AOP awards 2018, Faye McDearmid, from Campbell & McDearmid Optometrists, has won Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year 2018

Winner: Faye McDearmid, Campbell & McDearmid Optometrists

From helping children become more confident to forming a key part of wedding preparations, optometrist Faye McDearmid believes contact lenses can help create happy memories.

Faye believes contact lens fitting is a combination of common sense and artistic licence. Saying “The better understanding of the cornea and the optics of the lenses you are fitting, the easier it is to get the results you are aiming for”.

Faye says contact lens conversations crop up regularly when I ask the question "What can't you do in your glasses?"

Faye understands the needs of her patients differ and change with age. Comfort is often the most important lens factor to consider for young people, whereas for older patients, vision becomes more important. 

For children, Faye takes care to demonstrate lens application and removal and lets them feel a lens in their hands. She also takes time to explain to the parent or guardian the clinical and professional aspects of lens design. 

For older patients, Faye has trial lenses they can apply while waiting for spectacles to be dispensed, which she says can be a helpful way to experience contact lenses for the first time,  and allows them to see what they are choosing. 

“We all have one pair of eyes to last us a lifetime. I believe it is our duty to explain the importance of appropriate lens supply, fitting and aftercare”

Faye McDearmid


Runners up 

David Fleischmann, DF Optometrists 

David has a diverse patient base, including a high percentage of paediatric patients  he firmly believes “Contact lenses are an area in which independent practice can really shine. When fitted “to the max” they offer significant benefits to patients in terms of vision but also in terms of lifestyle changes. The difference that I’ve seen ortho-K make to developing myopes, especially those keen on sports, has been a huge driving force. From a career satisfaction standpoint, the difference they make to a patient’s life is huge and that’s the main thing at the end of the day.”

Sophie Taylor-West, Taylor-West & Co Optometrists  

With her own practice, Sophie says she allows herself plenty of time to chat with patients. She explains “to help take away someone’s constant pain with therapeutic scleral lenses for severe dry eye – gives a level of professional satisfaction that I find only contact lens fitting can give. It often surprises me how many people believe they can’t wear lenses because they are too young, old, astigmatic, presbyopic or dry eyed, and are delighted to discover there are lens options for them.”