GP Lens Institute Newsletter | December 23, 2022


This newsletter is kindly sponsored by:

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Engaging with the Contact Lens Professionals in 2023

On behalf of the GP Lens Institute, I want to wish you a very gratifying and rewarding 2023 and – most certainly – an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season. The GPLI has many blessings to be thankful for as we head into next year including:

Our Eye Care Professionals Membership Program. As described in our newsletter, we are unveiling a program January 1st that will address the issue so many practitioners have asked over the years (i.e., “How can I become a member of the GPLI?”) and our Advisory Board members have recommended frequently. With 13 benefits for a nominal annual fee, we truly feel our members will greatly enjoy this program.

“I Have a GP Wearer in My Chair: What Do I Do?” This comprehensive online module – to be introduced in 2023 – has everything for the ECP desiring to fit GPs or has an existing wearer in their chair. Complete with diagnostic and empirical fits, how to communicate, design, fit, and problem-solve, there will extensive video, clinical pearls, decision trees, etc. for spherical and toric GP lenses.

Increasing the Specialty Contact Lens Externship Sites. For any practice interested in becoming a specialty contact lens externship site for 4th year optometry students you can visit our webpage pertaining to this program. Most Colleges of Optometry have exhibited an interest in increasing the number of specialty lens sites which, in turn, could ultimately significantly increase the number of specialty contact lens practitioners. Our patients, of course, will be the ultimate beneficiary of this program.

25th Anniversary of the GPLI Cornea and Contact Lens Residency Symposium. Our most important annual program will be celebrated this year and all past residents will have the opportunity to be included.

Our Associate Director, Dr. Tom Quinn. To have someone of Tom’s many abilities and leadership, not to mention the respect he has in the industry, it is wonderful to welcome him as a very important member of the GPLI family.

Our CLMA Partners. We have a large number of Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) members who have been kind enough to serve as Industry Partners of the GPLI in 2023. You will see their names and logos on all our newsletters, webinars, our home page, our residents symposium, and our “Rising Stars” reception at the Global Specialty Lens Symposium. We could not exist without their support.


"Corneal Cross-Linking and Contact Lenses: The Decision-Making Process"

Dr. John Gelles

Our December 20th webinar, attended by almost 170 eye care professionals, was an outstanding contemporary presentation on the current status of corneal cross-linking, who would benefit the most, and how do you make the decision to fit any of the various contact lens options, both as an alternative to cross-linking or as an adjunct. Dr. John Gelles, director of the specialty contact lens division of the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute and the CLEI Center for Keratoconus in Teaneck, NJ, and perhaps the foremost expert in the United States on this subject, was the presenter. Some of the highlights from the presentation are provided below.

Three Primary Steps in Keratoconus

  • Stop Progression
  • Improve Topography
  • Improve Vision

Keratoconic Corneal Changes

How Does Corneal Crosslinking Work?

History of Corneal Crosslinking and Pertinent Research

CXL Innovations

  • Riboflavin
  • Ultraviolet Illumination
  • Oxygen
  • Indication

CXL in the United States

  • FDA-approved procedure: epithelium-off procedure for 14 years of age or older
  • Treat early in condition; don’t wait for progression of condition before referring for CXL

Why CXL?

  • Stops progression
  • Cost benefit (has been found to be very significant over a lifetime)
  • Quality of life improvement

Why CXL Now?

  • Delays result in progression of disease and loss of vision
  • Contact lenses can be fit afterward

Patient Expectations

  • Vision reduced initially and will improve after one month
  • Important to monitor patients
  • They have found 93% of patients stable after 10 years

The CXL Procedure (bandage lens application, therapeutic pharmaceutical applications, and follow-up schedule)

US Phase III Clinical Trial Results

CXL-Associated Corneal Haze

  • Worse at one month
  • Improvement after three months and goes away over time

Impact of CXL on Penetrating Keratoplasty:

  • Godefrooij et al, 2016: 25% fewer corneal transplants after CXL implementation
  • Summary of EBAA 2016 versus 2019 data
  • PK: ectasia is now the #2 indication as there is a 56% reduction in corneas used

Improving Vision: the following contact lenses options were discussed and their indications for use after CXL.

  • Standard Soft Lenses
  • Custom Soft Lenses
  • Corneal GP Lenses
  • Hybrid Lenses
  • Piggyback Lens System
  • Scleral Lenses: for advanced conditions and also can reduce the likelihood of corneal transplants

The GOAL of the contact lens correction is improved vision with good comfort while maintaining ocular health.


Bottom Line: CXL works and should be recommended for indicated patients.

Watch the Webinar


"Specialty Contact Lens Fitting in Pediatrics"

Jennifer Fogt, OD, MS, FAAO, FSLS

Tuesday, January 17th • 8 PM Central


Learn More about Webinars



The GPLI has a number of resources pertaining to keratoconus which can be accessed under “Education By Lens Type” on the home page. These include the following:

Archived Webinars. There are a large number of archived webinars that pertain to keratoconus and its management.

GP Lens Case Grand Rounds Troubleshooting Guide. This online text has almost 20 unique cases pertaining directly to keratoconus or post-surgical management with an additional section pertaining exclusively to scleral lenses.

Contact Lens Clinical Pearls Pocket Guide. This 27-page pocket guide, which includes a section on keratoconus, can be downloaded or ordered from the “Printed Materials” link on the home page.

Another exceptional resource is a comprehensive 82 page mini-book, co-edited by Drs. John Gelles and Melissa Barnett. Part of the 2023 Keratoconus Initiative, it is entitled: Keratoconus 2023: A Comprehensive Guide to the Modern Management of Keratoconus.


Of course, for additional information you can visit the National Keratoconus Foundation and the International Keratoconus Academy.

Order Printed Materials

Orders shipped to the US only - 200 of each complimentary including shipping


We have almost 3000 GP specialists with their area(s) of specialty listed to assist you when you need to refer a patient or for patients looking for a GP specialist, as this resource is also available on our consumer site:

If you are interested in signing up to be a referral GP lens practitioner, you can do so here

Specialties Include:

General GP Contact Lenses

Bifocal/Multifocal Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses for Irregular Corneas

Corneal Reshaping / Orthokeratology

Scleral Lens Designs

Submit Your Practice

Become a Specialty Contact Lens Externship Site

Learn More About Externships

Make a Year-End Contribution to GPLI

Your generosity is appreciated and helps the entire eye care community!

View Donation Options

Sign up now to become an ECP member of the GPLI!

This new program begins January 1st, and registration is open! Don't miss out on the many benefits our members will receive for a low annual cost, including:

Free Printed Materials*

Coding and Billing Module*

Staff Module*

GP Multifocals Module*

Archived Webinars*

Free Quarterly COPE Approved Webinars

Bi-monthly Educational Online Journal

Access to a Library of Specialty Contact Lens Presentations

GPLI Radio Podcast

Access to the “GPLI Contact Lens Experts” Facebook Group

Member Directory

Certificate of Membership

and Input on the Direction of the GPLI

*These resources have previously been open to all and will become member only benefits in 2023, so don't delay!

Your membership also supports the ongoing efforts of the GP Lens Institute.

Register now to be a part of it!

Regular Member: $89/yr

Fellow in an Eye Care Organization: $75/yr

Educators, Students, and Residents: Free*

*Email [email protected] to claim your free membership

Get More Info and Become a Member

About the GPLI


Edward S. Bennett, OD, MSEd, FAAO, FSLS

Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri St Louis College of Optometry

President and Executive Director, GP Lens Institute (GPLI)

The Gas Permeable Lens Institute is dedicated to providing eyecare professionals with unbiased educational and practice-building resources highlighting GP and custom manufactured soft contact lenses.

Please support the educational opportunities provided by the GP Lens Institute. We will continue to support all ECPs, staff and your patients. Be kind, respectful and find happiness within yourself!!

Thank you again to our newsletter sponsors

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