Contact lenses are easier to wear and to care for than ever before, and now there are even more ranges of contact lenses available to you than ever before.
Made from different materials for various periods of use, there are now contact lenses to suit every type of individual, no matter what their needs.
Contact lenses not only eliminate the need for spectacles, they also offer clear, comfortable vision and are a great alternative for youngsters and active adults.
At L.A. Hunter Optometrists we pride ourselves in our ability to find the right contact lenses for even the most complicated prescriptions. We believe that quality of vision shouldn’t impact your choice of eyewear, so we go out of our way and take as much time as required to fit you with lenses that will benefit your lifestyle.
One of the most common concerns opticians hear about contact lenses is ‘I’m worried about putting them in and taking them out’. You really needn’t worry. Although this can take a little time to master, with our expert guidance and some practice it’ll soon become second nature.
Almost everyone can wear contact lenses
High Standard of Care
If you choose to have contact lenses from L.A. Hunter, you can look forward to the highest standard of care, both before you leave us and afterwards.
We vow to provide you with all the information you need to help you look after your contact lenses appropriately. You will also be able to take advantage of our aftercare service as and when you need it.
As Independent opticians, we are able to source lenses from any manufacturer, therefore we are able to supply the optimum lenses for your needs.
Whether you are a full or part time wearer, whether you have astigmatism, or if you only require your spectacles for reading, we aim to find and fit the perfect contact lens for everyone.
After Care & Payment Scheme
Our priority is the health and comfort of your eyes. We believe this to be of the upmost importance and reinforce this with our comprehensive after care scheme.
All our contact lenses and solutions along with your aftercare charges are payable per appointment or through a convenient low cost monthly debit scheme.
Do not delay; book in for your contact lens assessment now.
Monthly Direct Debit
Nearly all our patients pay for their lenses and after-care via monthly direct debit.
The scheme covers your all CL checks, supply of lenses and solutions (if required) and any after-care requirements.
Anyone paying for Contact Lenses by Direct debit will also qualify for 20% discount on spectacles.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Contact Lenses
The Advantages Of Contact Lenses
Contact lenses have many advantages over spectacles.
If you play outdoor or active sports, for example, your spectacles can be affected by rain or be knocked off and damaged.
Contact lenses remove these problems and allow you a greater freedom.
Activities such as dancing, drama, golf, football and similar activities can all benefit from wearing contact lenses.
Many people also choose to wear contact lenses for special social occasions, such as weddings, parties etc, where they would prefer not to wear their glasses
Disadvantages of Contact Lenses
We don`t want to be negative, but there are some things we think you should know before considering contact lenses!
Some people find the lenses fiddly or difficult to handle, although most people overcome this with practice.
We will spend time with you to ensure that you learn how to insert and remove your lenses and know how to care from them – we hate admitting defeat!
You must ensure that you comply with the cleaning instructions to prevent problems such as eye infections, and some patients find this inconvenient.
Whilst daily disposable lenses offer a much simpler solution, if you wear them most of the time they can work out a bit more expensive.
For some people this is worth paying as they would rather not wear their spectacles.
Are Contact Lenses Correct for me?
Common eyesight defects, such as short-sight and long-sight, are easily corrected but now conditions such as astigmatism and presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) can also be treated very effectively.
In the past, people with astigmatism, a condition in which the eye is irregularly shaped causing distorted vision, were restricted to wearing spectacles, but today toric soft lenses are available both from stock or manufactured specifically for more complicated prescriptions.
Presbyopia is the ageing of the eye’s natural crystalline lens which progressively affects everyone over the age of about 40 and which makes it difficult to shift focus (accommodate) between near and distant objects.
This is usually corrected with varifocal contact lenses which provide clear distance and near vision. A second alternative is blended or mono vision, where one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near but success depends on the individual and their ability to adapt to seeing out of one eye at a time.
As contact lenses are worn next to the eye, there is nothing to obstruct your peripheral vision. In addition, the lenses move with your eye, meaning that you are always looking through the centre of the lens, where vision is best. In the majority of cases, people can actually see better with contact lenses than they would with glasses.
What should I do if I want to try contact lenses?
During the examination your eyes will be tested to determine the strength of lenses you need for clear vision and also the health of your eyes and eyelids will be examined.
The quality of your tears, needed for lubrication of the contact lens, will also be assessed. Then, the curvature and diameter of the cornea at the front of your eye will be measured, together with the size of your pupils and the position of your eyelids.
Based on this information, our Optometrist will be able to give advice about the most suitable contact lenses.
What types of contact lenses are available?
These are worn once and thrown away. They are ideal for sports and occasional social wear and come in a wide range of prescriptions.
Frequent Replacement Lenses
These lenses are worn on a daily basis but cleaned, stored overnight and replaced either fortnightly or monthly. Ideal for full time wearers.
These are used to correct astigmatism and come in daily and frequent replacement options.
These correct both distance and near vision and come in daily and frequent use.
The most popular contact lenses are made from gel-like plastics, often with a high water content, that allow oxygen to pass freely to the eye. Because of this, soft lenses can be made much larger which in turn makes them very comfortable and easy to adapt to.
Some of the new ultra-thin soft lenses are so comfortable that new wearers can leave them in all day right from the start. New users usually find that they are only mildly aware of standard thickness soft lenses and that tolerance can be built up fairly easily so that most people are able to wear them all day within a week.
All types of contact lenses are now available on a planned replacement programme. New manufacturing techniques have made it possible for users to have a fresh pair of lenses regularly for about the same cost over a period as non-disposable lenses. Daily disposable lenses are becoming increasingly popular as they eliminate the need for a lens care routine, but depending on the type of lens and the environment in which it will be worn, the replacement period can be anything from one day to two years.
Daily wear lenses are ideal for children and young adults.
Most contact lenses are now in disposable form because frequent replacement keeps lens deposition to the minimum. This in turn reduces problems with discomfort, redness and visual quality.
Disposable lenses are either replaced daily, fortnightly, or monthly. Whichever you choose will depend on how you want to wear your lenses. For example, if you only want them for the odd occasion like playing sports, then daily lenses will be the best choice. If you’re wearing lenses every day, then monthly or fortnightly lenses are usually more economical.
Silicone hydrogel lenses
This is the latest material used to make contact lenses. It binds water to the lens, making the lenses much more comfortable to wear and less likely to dry out.
These lenses transmit up to five times more oxygen to the eye than traditional lenses. This protects against the signs and symptoms due to a lack of oxygen, such as dryness, irritation, end of day discomfort and redness. Because they have a lower water content than many traditional lenses, they dry out less during the day and remain comfortable for longer which reduces the need for comfort or wetting solutions.
Extended wear lenses
Most contact lenses are worn on a daily basis, being removed in the evening and put back in next morning. Special extended wear soft lenses (made from a different material, silicon hydrogel) are now available which may be recommended for specific reasons, these allow you to sleep in them. Typically they are replaced weekly, two weekly or monthly.
The first contact lenses were what have become known as ‘hard’ lenses. These are made of a perspex material which, while very durable, does not allow essential oxygen to pass through to the surface of the eye.
Although still available for certain specialist needs, they have been largely replaced by gas permeable lenses which allow good oxygen flow and enable the eye to ‘breathe’.
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses
Rigid gas permeable lenses allow oxygen to pass to the surface of the eye, but they are made of firmer plastics than soft lenses. This makes them more durable and gives them a longer life span. These lenses are particularly suitable for certain prescriptions such as high degrees of astigmatism, where they give very good vision.
Some people find rigid lenses easier to handle than soft lenses and, although they take a little longer to get used to, regular wearers find them very comfortable.
Tinted / Coloured lenses
These are contact lenses which can enhance or even change the colour of your eyes without affecting what you see and are now widely available. Available in most options, these are great for parties and special occasions. Most people get these in addition to their regular lenses.
Are contact lenses difficult to insert and remove?
When you first receive your lenses you will be taught the correct method for insertion and removal.
Caring for your lenses
Daily lenses need no cleaning, they are simply ‘binned’ after use. For weekly, two-weekly and monthly lenses, developments in lens care products have now made it easier than ever to keep your contact lenses clean, comfortable and safe from harmful bacteria. These three simple steps should result in trouble-free use:
- Clean your contact lenses daily-This will remove dust, pollution, make-up and other things that may accumulate on the lens in daily wear.
- Disinfect your contact lenses daily – Disinfecting your lenses will ensure they are free from any micro-organisms still on the lens after cleaning.
- Weekly protein removal – This breaks down protein deposits that are produced naturally in everyone’s tears. If you don’t do this the performance and life of the lens could be reduced. Your Optometrist will advise as to the necessity and frequency of this routine.
There are now one-step solutions available that make the hygiene routine even easier. Always remember that if your eyes feel uncomfortable, sore or irritable, you should take your lenses out and make an appointment to see our Optometrist.
If in any doubt, always seek advice from our trained staff. We are here to help.