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HomemicontactLegendary Wordsmiths

Legendary Wordsmiths

Many great Australian and international legends have helped shape my career, fuelled my passion, and guided me in all things optometric, especially in the contact lens field.

In previous issues of mivision, we have celebrated massive achievements made in the eye care world by Australians, New Zealanders, and immigrants who now call these two great countries home.

I encourage passionate students and young optometrists to join CL societies and serve on committees

Two legendary members of the Australian contact lens (CL) fraternity recently published updated editions of their highly regarded texts.

Nathan Efron, editor of the internationally respected Australian journal, Clinical and Experimental Optometry (CXO), returned to Australia some years ago after a stint in the UK and based himself at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He and his optometrist wife Suzanne now spend much of their year roaming the Australian outback. That however hasn’t stopped Nathan from continuing his pursuits as editor of CXO, nor halted his busy lecturing schedule on the international conference circuit. He also found the time to publish his latest text book, Contact Lens Complications.1

Now in its fourth edition, it has been thoroughly updated to capture the latest advances and concepts in CL related ocular pathology. An included ‘complications quickfind index’, constitutes a valuable practitioner aid to formulate a rapid diagnosis and treatment plan, while serving as a useful study aid. The latest Dry Eye Workshop II findings have also been included, as have pearls from the international workshop on meibomian gland dysfunction and contact lens discomfort.

Two new chapters covering lid wiper epitheliopathy and lid-parallel conjunctival folds have been added. Fifteen hundred references are cited as the basis for a thorough evidence based approach. The text includes 650 clinical pictures and schematic diagrams, of which 60 are brand new.

Nathan’s comprehensive grading scales, which cover 16 contact lens complications, are complemented by digitally morphed grading scales, which serve as an additional aid to assessing condition severity. A tutorial allows grading skills to be honed, as does a pictorial tear film classification system.


Adelaide based Tony Phillips, together with his co-author Lynne Speedwell, have cajoled multiple contributors to revise the legendary text book, Contact Lenses, which has been a mainstay for decades of students and practitioners the world over.

Contact Lenses, sixth edition2 covers the latest advances, evidence, and standards needed for everyday practice. It provides the essential knowledge health care professionals need in one convenient volume, with information on CL materials and lens types, treatment of CL and tear film complications, myopia management, and CLs for abnormal ocular conditions. Current topics such as miniscleral lenses, keratoconus, corneal cross linking, paediatric, cosmetic, and prosthetic CLs are also covered. This edition includes full online access via ExpertConsult, with additional calculators for soft toric mislocation, front vertex power and sagittal values, simulation programs for scleral lens fitting, orthokeratology, rigid lens design and more. High quality line diagrams and clinical illustrations highlight key points.

Purchase of either of these text books includes an enhanced eBook version, with additional features, and is useful when working remotely or in different settings.


It’s great to see Nathan and Tony, two gurus from my student days, still going strong and sharing their passion and knowledge with us. I used their texts throughout my career. I got to meet and hear them speak at conferences I helped organise in the 80s and 90s, when I served on the Contact Lens Society of South Africa Council and Conference Committees. These relationships have stood the test of time.

I encourage passionate students and young optometrists to join CL societies and serve on committees. One of many benefits is to meet and interact with world leaders, which goes well beyond sitting in a lecture. Some of the discussions shared over dinner, on a bus, or late into the night over a beer, provide glimpses, information, tips and pearls that are invaluable.


  1. Contact Lens Complications, 4th Edition by Nathan Efron www.elsevierhealth.com.au/contact-lenscomplications- 9780702076114.html 
  2. Contact Lenses, 6th Edition by Phillips & Speedwell www. elsevierhealth.com.au/contact-lenses-9780702071683.html