This month we’re hosting a dedicated Contact Lens Open Day, giving you the chance to call in and meet our professional eyecare team to ask questions or talk about contact lenses, the different types and uses.
Whether you have discounted using contact lenses in the past or do not think they are for you, this is an opportunity to have your questions answered.
The Contact Lens Open Day is on Friday, 16 November between 8.45am and 5.30pm and on Saturday, 17th November between 8.45am and 12.30pm. Just call into our St Owen Street practice in Hereford, Herefordshire.
“Contact lenses are suitable for many more people than is commonly imagined,” says BBR optometrist, Laura Williams.
“Often people aren’t aware of the flexibility of options for casual or regular wear or think that because they wear varifocals contact lenses won’t work which needn’t be the case.
“In fact, such are the developments in contact lens design and materials that even if you have tried before and they haven’t worked there might be something for you now, particularly as being an independent we have access to the widest possible range of options.
“With our Tear Clinic service as well, it is possible that if your eyes have been too dry to wear lenses we may be able to get you wearing lenses again if we treat the dry eye first. There is no such thing as too young or too old we have had contact lens wearers from ages 6 to 100.”
“Contact lenses are the best option for sports and there are lens designs have been clinically proven to reduce the progression of myopia in children leading to a long-term reduction of risk in certain sight-threatening conditions in later life.
“The idea of our open day is for us to available answer some of your questions and show you what lenses look and feel like so that you can decide whether they are right for you.”
So what types of contact lenses are there?
• These lenses are the most common type of contact lenses fitted.
• They rest over the cornea and part of the sclera (white part of the eye).
• There are different types of soft lens materials e.g. silicone hydrogel or hydrogel which can enhance comfort and prolong length of wear time.
RGP (Rigid Gas Permeable) Lenses
• These lenses are more commonly used for higher prescriptions or irregularly shaped eyes.
• They are smaller and rest on the cornea
• Due to the more rigid material, they are more durable and therefore do not need to be replaced as often as soft lenses.
• These lenses correct the single spherical component of the prescription.
• Astigmatism is very common. This is usually due to the front of the having more of a rugby ball shape rather than a football shape meaning that one axis of the eye is steeper than the other.
• Lenses to correct astigmatism, called “toric” lenses are available in a wide range of lens types and designs.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
• By the age of 40-50, most people need to either start wearing glasses for reading or use different powers of lenses for distance and near tasks e.g. bifocal or varifocal glasses.
• Options are available for people who want to wear contact lenses to provide clear vision at different distances. These lenses are called multifocal lenses.
Frequency of Wear
Daily Soft Lenses
• These lenses are simple and convenient.
• They are worn for a day and then thrown away and therefore there is no need to clean or store them in solutions.
• The daily life span reduces the exposure of the eyes to debris that can build up on the lens and therefore they are very hygienic.
• They can be worn for occasional wear, such as sports or social events, or can be worn full time.
Two-weekly/ Monthly Soft lenses
• These lenses are worn on a daily wear basis and changed every two weeks or every month.
• They must be removed each night, cleaned and stored using solutions.
• They are available in a wide range of materials, fittings, powers & designs and may work out more cost effective than daily contact lenses if worn most days.
• There are also some longer replacement intervals for soft lenses as well as extended or continuous wear. You contact lens practitioner will advise you regarding these based on your individual needs. Sleeping in contact lenses can increase the risk of infection, irrespective of lens type.
Who can wear contact lenses?
• Almost everyone can benefit from contact lenses. Most prescriptions can be corrected with contact lenses and there is now a wide range of contact lens types and materials to match with variations in eye and tear health.
How old do you have to be to wear contact lenses?
• There is no upper or lower age limit for contact lens wear. Very young children can be fitted with contact lenses and research has shown that children can be very successful in looking after their contact lenses.
I’ve tried contact lenses before and could not get along with them. Should I try again?
• Yes. Lens designs and materials are constantly evolving and changing. Many people who have dropped out of contact lenses in the past can be successful with more modern, developed lenses, so it is worth asking your optometrist regarding the latest lenses available.
Are contact lenses comfortable?
• Contact lenses are designed to provide excellent vision as well as comfort. Many people find that they are not aware of them and forget about them while they are wearing them.
• There are different lens materials available which are designed for people who may suffer from dry eye or currently use lubricating eye drops. Ask your optometrist regarding which material would be suited to you.
For more information, why not call in and meet our team during our Contact Lens Open Day. Or make an appointment for an eye examination with our optometrists and professional eyecare team.