Contact Lens Clinic

The Contact Lens Clinic is run by the Optometry Department , which is part of the Eye Department (Ophthalmology Directorate). The clinic is a specialist service for patients who require contact lenses for clinical reasons. Common reasons for patients being referred to the Contact Lens Clinic include:

  • It is not possible to achieve good vision with spectacles
  • Spectacles cannot be tolerated (ususally due to the need for very strong spectacles or due to a large difference in the strength of lens required for the two eyes)
  • A contact lens is required for cosmetic reasons (e.g. to disguise a scarred eye)

Patients are usually referred to the Contact Lens Clinic by other clinics within the Eye Department. If you think you may have an eye problem which is eligible for contact lens fitting in the hospital, you should approach your GP or community optometrist (optician) for a referral to the eye department.

Where is the Contact Lens Clinic?
Contact Lens Clinic is part of the Eye Clinic at the Colney Lane site. We do not have a contact lens clinic at the Cromer site. Information on patient transport and Finding Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

Contact Lens Charges
Information on charges for contact lenses.

Patients referred to the contact lens clinic will be assessed to determine whether they are suitable for contact lens wear and if so, what form of lens will be suitable. The process of fitting lenses usually involves the optometrist placing trial lenses on the eye to determine what shape of lens is required and how strong the lens needs to be. Based on this information the optometrist will be able to order bespoke lenses which will then be collected at a subsequent visit.

On collection, the new lenses will be checked on the eye to see if it/they perform as expected. If no lens alterations are required then the patient will be taught how to handle and look after the lenses. Once the optometrist and patient are happy that the lenses can be inserted and removed as required, then they can be taken home. Often the optometrist will recommend wearing the lenses for a few hours per day initially, gradually building up the daily wearing time over subsequent days/weeks.

Contact Lens Care Products (Contact Lens ‘Solutions’)
Very few lenses issued by hospital eye clinic are single use ‘disposable’ lenses. All other lenses must be cleaned an disinfected after each use. This is done using contact lens ‘solutions’ which are designed especially for the purpose. The optometrist will advise you on what solutions should be used and how to obtain them.

Once the lenses have been collected, a follow-up appointment will be arranged for a month or two later to determine whether the lens wear has been successful and to deal with any problems.

What to do if you have a problem
If you have a problem whilst wearing a contact lens (e.g. blurry vision, discomfort or redness), first remove the lens to see if the problem resolves (it may be helpful to inspect the lens for any obvious damage). If the problem resolves, go through your usual cleaning/disinfecting regimen and reinsert the lens to see if the problem recurs (you may wish to leave reinserting the lens until the following day). A problem which resolves on lens removal and recurs on re-insertion suggests a problem with the lens itself. Call the Optometry Department on 01603 288067 for advice.

Serious Eye Problems
Serious eye problems related to contact lens wear are thankfully rare. The following symptoms suggest a more serious eye problem which may be related to contact lens wear:

  • A very red eye which doesn’t improve after contact lens removal
  • A painful eye (especially if red also) which does not improve after contact lens removal
  • A white spot in front of the coloured part of the eye which is associated with redness and/or pain and which persists on lens removal
  • The above may be associated with reduced vision with or without the contact lens or spectacles

If you have any of the above symptoms or for any other reason believe that you may have a serious eye problem, you should contact your GP without delay to arrange an urgent appointment at our Ophthalmic Emergency Referral Service (OERS). This emergency service is based in the eye clinic but is not a walk-in service. Hence you must approach your GP to get an appointment.

Out of office hours: In the unlikely event that you have an eye problem which cannot wait until the following day to be assessed, you have the option of calling the hospital on 01603 286286 and asking for the on-call ophthalmologist.


Opening Times:

Monday 09:00 – 15:00
Tuesday 09:00 – 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 – 17:00
Thursday 09:00 – 17:00
Friday 09:00 – 12:30
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

See a map of the hospital and car parks.

See details of how to get to the hospital by car.


Contact Lens Clinic Tel: 01603 288067