Contact lenses are more versatile than ever before. Many people are opting for contact lenses for a variety of reasons such as, better vision, convenience, enhancement of appearances and ease during sporting activities.
Our clinic offers a wide range of soft and hard contact lenses including speciality contact lenses to improve impaired vision for keratoconus and congenital cataract patients who have had cataract surgery where an intraocular lens has not been implanted (aphakia).
Whatever your reason for choosing contact lenses, proper selection and maintenance is important. Start by understanding the pros and cons of common types of contact lenses and the ground rules for preventing eye infections.
Contact lenses can be used to correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia conditions.
Different types of contact lenses
Soft contact lenses
Soft contact lenses conform to the shape of your eye. These thin, gel-like lenses are comfortable and the choice of most contact lens wearers. They’re a good choice if you participate in sports or lead an active lifestyle.
Soft Contact Lens
Different options of soft lenses available are:
Single use (Daily disposable lenses)
Single use soft contact lenses are individually packaged for one-day use. You put on a new pair in the morning, after which you remove and discard them before you go to sleep at night. They are convenient as no cleaning is required. However, they are more expensive than other types of contact lenses.
Daily wear (Bi-weekly/ monthly disposable lenses)
Daily wear soft contact lenses are designed to be worn daily and may be reused for a certain number of weeks, depending on the manufacturer. Typically, you insert these lenses every morning and remove them every night. They are more economical than single use contact lenses. However, it must be cleaned every day and replaced regularly to avoid protein build up in the eye and other complications.
Extended wear soft contact lenses are designed to be worn continuously, both in the day and overnight for a certain number of weeks, depending on the manufacturer. They allow a certain amount of oxygen to reach your cornea even while you are sleeping. However, they are being recommended less frequently since continuous use promotes the build-up of micro-organisms on the lenses and increases the risk of corneal infection and other complications.
Toric soft contact lenses can correct certain amount of astigmatism, though not as well as RGP lenses. They usually cost more than other soft contact lenses and are prescribed as single use, daily wear or extended wear.
Coloured or tinted contacts
Coloured or tinted soft contact lenses are available in varying degrees and plano (no degree). They are prescribed as single use or daily wear. They come in a variety of colours and tints that can change the appearance of your eye colour.
Hard contact lenses
Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, or hard contact lenses, are smaller and more rigid than are soft contact lenses. This makes them less comfortable than soft contact lenses initially and adaption of up to one week may be required. However, RGP lenses allow more oxygen to pass through to the eyes, reduce protein deposits formation on contact lenses and may be preferable for patients with allergies.
RGP can also correct certain vision problems, such as refractive errors that require high spherical or cylindrical powers, more accurately than soft contact lenses. RGP are more durable and each pair can usually last for about two years to three years.
Speciality contact lenses
Rose K (Rigid Gas Permeable contact lens)
Keratoconus is a disorder of the anterior surface of the eye (the cornea) and can interfere with vision depending on severity. In simple terms, the cornea becomes thinner causing it to bulge from its normal round shape to a cone shape. In early stage keratoconus, distortion of vision can still be treated using glasses. As keratoconus advances, RGP lens is the best method to correct vision. The Rose K lens has a number of features that fits better over the eye leading to better comfort and optimum visual acuity for keratoconus patients. It is internationally recognised as the leading lens for the treatment of keratoconus. However due to the progressive nature of the condition, it is important that lenses are fitted with great care and reassessed at least annually by your ophthalmologist and optometrist.
Silsoft (Soft contact lens)
SilSoft Super Plus contact lenses are designed for children who have had cataract surgery where an intraocular lens has not been implanted (aphakia). The SilSoft brand of contact lens is suitable for daily or overnight wear and is the leading treatment option for paediatric patients recovering from cataract surgery. The SilSoft material and customized design allows more oxygen to pass through than any other lens for aphakia and therefore permit the eyes to breathe and deliver outstanding vision which are the necessary elements for healthy development of babies’ eyes.
Monovision contact lenses
Monovision contact lenses might be helpful for presbyopia in which the lens of the eye can’t change shape easily when focussing on near vision due to aging. With monovision lenses, one lens has your reading prescription and the other has a distance prescription. Other ways of modified monovision contact lenses include a multifocal lens in one eye and a single-vision lens in the other eye.
Bandage contact lenses
‘Bandage’ contact lenses are special uses of contact lenses to cover corneal surface and provide comfort after injury or surgery.
Getting the right fit
If you decide to try contact lenses, see your ophthalmologist or optometrist for a thorough eye examination and contact lens fitting to determine the suitability and the brand of contact lenses for you. It is important for contact lens wearers to return for regular follow-up visits so as to maintain good eye health and vision. Due to the direct contact onto the eye, it increases its potential to cause complications.
Contact lens related complications
All contact lenses are considered foreign bodies to the eyes; they can and sometimes do give rise to complications. Contact lens–related complications range from self-limiting to sight threatening, which require rapid diagnosis and treatment to prevent vision loss.
The incidence of these complications from lens wearing can be prevented if they are utilized properly, in terms of proper lens fitting, appropriate wearing schedule and stringent lens hygiene. Some of the common complications seen in contact lens wearers are:
Contact Lens-induced Acute Red Eye (CLARE)
Corneal oedema( swelling)
Contact Lens-induced Papillary Conjunctivitis (CLPC)
Microbial Keratitis (MK)
Contact Lens Solution Toxicity
Contact lens wearers should view the warning signs and symptoms seriously. Cease lens wear immediately and consult our clinic if you experience prolonged red-eye, eye discomfort, blurring of vision, sensitivity to light or eye discharge due to contact lens wear.