Eurolens Research

Frequently asked questions

If you are or would like to participate in a contact lens study, we hope you will find this section useful.

  1. Why is Eurolens Research conducting the clinical study?
  2. Who can take part in the studies?
  3. Do I get paid for taking part in a study?
  4. What are the benefits of taking part in a study?
  5. Where do the clinical studies take place?
  6. When do the clinical studies take place?
  7. What is the difference between a dispensing and a non-dispensing study?
  8. What is an initial screening appointment?
  9. What happens after the screening?
  10. What is the information and consent visit?
  11. Do I have to take part in the study?
  12. What is involved in a study visit?
  13. What happens to the results generated by a study?
  14. Will information about me remain confidential?
  15. What are the potential risks if I take part?
  16. What if I have a problem with my eyes or contact lenses during a study?
  17. Will I still need eye examinations from my own optometrist if I take part in studies?
  18. How can I get involved in a contact lens study?

1. Why is Eurolens Research conducting the clinical study?

Our studies are requested by a sponsor company to see how their product – usually a contact lens or a lens-related product such as a care solution – performs in the 'real world’ compared with another product.

2. Who can take part in the studies?

To take part in the majority of our studies, you must have healthy eyes and have worn contact lenses within the last 6 months. If you have had any eye problems in the past, please ask to speak to one of our optometrists, who will be able to advise you whether your condition excludes you from participation.

In addition, there are a number of reasons that would normally exclude you from a study, including if:

  • there are any unacceptable findings with your eye, eyelid or eyelashes, such as infection or inflammation
  • you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), aphakia (intraocular lens removal due to cataracts) or a history of recurring abrasions
  • you are taking certain types of medication
  • you have a systemic or infectious disease such as diabetes, hepatitis or severe dry eye
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Finally, each study we conduct defines specific selection criteria that participants must meet. For example, a study may exclude existing wearers of a certain type of lens and only include people whose prescription falls within a specified range. Therefore, you may be suitable for some studies, but not others.

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3. Do I get paid for taking part in a study?

Yes, there is a nominal payment on completion of a study, usually in the region of £10–50, depending on the number of study visits involved. In addition, we will provide you with your study products at no change for the duration of the study.

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4. What are the benefits of taking part in a study?

Subjects taking part in our studies comment that they appreciate the opportunity to try different types of contact lenses and care products, and that this can useful when updating or replacing their regular lenses. At the start of each dispensing study, all subjects are given the latest advice and information regarding lens wear and care, which means that you will know how to get the best out of your lenses. Most importantly, the results generated from the studies have a positive impact for contact lens wearers in general, as the information gained helps to develop and improve contact lens products.

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5. Where do the clinical studies take place?

The clinical studies are conducted at Eurolens Research, Moffat Building, The University of Manchester.

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6. When do the clinical studies take place?

The study appointments are usually during normal office hours (8.30 am–5.00 pm) Monday–Friday.

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7. What is the difference between a dispensing and a non-dispensing study?

When a sponsor company requires evidence on the ‘wearability’ of a particular contact lens type or contact lens care product, the product will usually be issued to study subjects for use over a time period ranging from 1 week to 12 months. This is referred to as a dispensing study.

Non-dispensing studies involve testing the products only during the study appointment. You do not take any contact lenses or products home with you.

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8. What is an initial screening appointment?

Before enrolling on a clinical study, it is important to ascertain that your eyes are healthy and you are suitable to take part in the study. An eye examination, similar to what you have had with your own optometrist, is performed. To participate in any of our studies, you will need to have been screened within 2 years of starting the study. If you attend a screening appointment there is no obligation for you to take part in any of our studies, but we will contact you with details of any studies that you may be suitable for.

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9. What happens after the screening?

Following your screening, your eye examination details are stored on our clinical database. When we start a new study that you are suitable to participate in, we will contact you (usually via email) to ask if you would be interested in taking part and, if so, to arrange the appropriate study appointments with you.

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10. What is the information and consent visit?

The information and consent (I & C) visit is the first appointment for a dispensing study. You are provided with detailed information about the study, and then asked to sign a study consent form to confirm that you are happy to participate. If you are attending your first I & C, we will also give you instructions on how we would like you to handle and care for your contact lenses, and what to do if you experience any problems with your eyes or lenses whilst on the study.

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11. Do I have to take part in the study?

If you change your mind and feel you wish to be discontinued from a study, you are free to do so at any time. You will be asked to complete an ‘Exit statement’, which discharges you from the study.

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12. What is involved in a study visit?

Study visits can vary depending on the details of the study, but tend to last for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. They are similar to a contact lens appointment that you would have with your own optometrist, and will generally involve our optometrist performing a number of tests to assess lens fit, your vision and eye health (although specific details will vary depending on the study). You may be given specific instructions regarding lens wear prior to the study appointment. For example, you will usually be asked to attend your visit wearing your study lenses and to bring your lens case and your spectacles with you. Also, you will usually be asked not to wear/use your own contact lens products for the duration of the study.

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13. What happens to the results generated by a study?

Eurolens Research will produce a written report for the sponsor company, the results of which will help the sponsor in the development or marketing of its product. These findings may also be published in a journal or presented at a conference.

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14. Will information about me remain confidential?

Yes, your personal details will be kept strictly confidential. However, if the sponsor company, The University of Manchester or the regulatory authorities inspect the detailed study records (to ensure accuracy of the data), your identity might be revealed. Our clinical records may be transferred to any country that guarantees subject data protection as defined by the International Conference on Harmonisation. Any inspection of the files will be conducted by a suitably qualified person only and your identity will only be traceable at the site of the work. Photographs or film recordings of your eyes may be taken and kept as a permanent record, for teaching purposes, or to appear in published articles, books, etc. You will not usually be identifiable from these images, but if it is necessary to reveal your identity this will not be done without your permission. A copy of the data held on computer about you is available on request, in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

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15. What are the potential risks if I take part?

All lenses and lens care products have the potential to cause serious injury to the eye. However, due to the nature and duration of our studies, the associated risks of participating are extremely low. It is possible that the following may occur with use of contact lens products: pain, abrasion of the eye, sensation of itching, burning or stinging, excessive tearing, unusual secretions, redness, reduced sharpness of vision, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or dry eyes. In rare instances, corneal ulcers, scarring, the growth of blood vessels into the cornea, temporary decreased vision, iritis and infections of the eye requiring treatment might occur. If you experience any of these sensations during a study, we would advise you to contact us as soon as possible. For emergency contact details:

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16. What if I have a problem with my eyes or contact lenses during a study?

If you experience any problems with your eyes during one of our studies, we would normally ask you to contact us for further advice as soon as possible. For emergency contact details:

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17. Will I still need eye examinations from my own optometrist if I take part in studies?

Any eye examination that takes place during a study is not intended to replace any eye examination that you would have with your own optometrist. Regardless of your participation in a study, you should have your eyes examined every 2 years (or more frequently, if advised by your optometrist). In addition, if you are a contact lens wearer you should have your contact lenses checked every 6 months (or more frequently, if advised by your optometrist).

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18. How can I get involved in a contact lens study?

If you would like to get involved in one of our studies, or find out more information about our studies, please either:

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Here to help

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When considering whether you would like to participate in a study, you will have lots of questions. We've put this page together to help answer our most common enquiries.