Contact lenses provide a variety of options for many visual conditions. Typically people associate contact lenses as being only for someone who does not like wearing spectacles.
However the options are far broader than this.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
Otherwise known as Hard contact lenses, these are generally safer and healthier to wear than soft contact lenses due to the increased oxygen flow to the eye and the superior materials they are made of.
Although commonly people are hesitant (due to the fear of the word ‘hard’ thinking this implies discomfort) to pursue fitting of hard lenses when recommended to them, the end result is usually healthier eyes and more stable vision that can be maintained for longer wearing times than many soft lens options.
Well maintained hard contact lenses will not usually show long term effects on the cornea as opposed to the higher risks of contamination associated with many types of soft contact lenses.
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are preferable as a first fit option as they are generally easier to handle.
In many cases of higher refractive powers such as high myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, rigid gas permeable contact lenses being custom made can deliver better vision than any soft lens option, as well as a healthier eye due to the reduced size of the rigid lens and the superior matierals from which they are made.
Orthokeratology lenses deliver similar health benefits to rigid gas permeable contact lenses yet are only required to be worn whilst sleeping. This type of lens is ideally suited for teenagers and those with lower prescriptions, who do not wish to wear daytime contact lenses or spectacles. Technology now allows a wider range of myopia and astigmatism powers to be corrected, ask us at Vision West if this option is possible for you.
Soft Contact Lenses
There are many forms of soft contact lenses, from single use daily disposable lenses to custom made non-disposable lenses. The reason for such a large range of lens designs is due to the many differing vision conditions and lifestyle needs of patients. Disposable lenses are generally mass produced and as such come in a smaller range of powers and sizes, whereas custom made lenses are made for the individual.
At Vision West we will discuss the various options available and what is best suited for your needs. For example it may be easier and healthier to have a daily disposable contact lens however you may have to compromise some vision quality as the lens power may not be perfectly suited to your needs. In this case a fortnightly or monthly soft contact lens may be better for your prescription.
In cases of higher refractive powers custom made lenses may be required, often in these cases it is preferable to consider a rigid contact lens as quality of vision will often be superior.