Contact Lens Examinations
In recent years, we have seen contact lenses become a commodity. With this change, some practitioners take a one size fits all approach to fitting. An improper contact lens fit can lead to poor vision, discomfort and non-compliance.
Optometrists at Wanganui Eyecare are experts in contact lens fitting. Contrary to the one size fits all approach, we strive to find custom solutions that meet your unique requirements.
We are specialists in all types of contact lenses, including soft, hard, custom lenses and the latest contact lenses for myopia control . We cater for all wearers; from those who wish to be free from the restrictions of glasses, to those with sight threatening corneal diseases who require specialised custom fits.
We are registered Ministry of Health providers of contact lens subsidies for those who meet criteria for publicly funded contact lenses.
What do we consider when fitting contact lenses?
We take many factors into account when finding the best regime for you. These include:
- The health of your eyes
- Your eye history
- Your individual lifestyle, vision requirements and environment
- How often and how long you want to wear your lenses
What types of contact lenses are there?
Broadly speaking there are two main types of contact lenses:
Hard contact lenses are conventional contact lenses. These are made out of semi-rigid materials and are permeable to oxygen. Hard contact lenses are durable and often last two years or more.
Soft contact lenses are a relatively modern development. They are made of flexible materials such as silicon polymers that allow the transmission of oxygen. Soft lenses may be more comfortable than hard lenses. They come in numerous modalities, including daily disposable lenses, fortnightly replacement lenses, monthly replacement lenses and extended wear lenses.
- Daily disposable lenses offer great convenience and hygiene. They require no cleaning and are thrown away after a single use.
- Monthly/Fortnightly lenses are cleaned nightly and stored in a disinfecting solution. Some lenses are FDA approved for extended wear. Monthly lenses tend to be more economical than daily disposable lenses if you wear them on a daily basis.
Will contact lenses work with my prescription?
Contact lenses can cater for most prescriptions, and give clearer vision at many distances. Some of the more common types of contact lenses are below:
These lenses cater for those with astigmatism. Broadly speaking, astigmatism is very common, and occurs when the cornea of the eye is slightly oval in one meridian, and slightly flatter in another. This means instead of an overall circular shape, the cornea has a more curved shape like a rugby ball. Without an astigmatic or toric correction lens vision may be distorted.
Glasses can correct for astigmatism, as each spectacle lens is held in a fixed position within the frame. This becomes a little more difficult with contact lenses, as a standard contact lens sits on the cornea itself and naturally rotates with blinking.
Toric contact lenses are weighted, so they remain in the correct position during blinking and throughout the day. In this way you can achieve stable and clear vision without glasses.
Lenses to help with reading
- Blended Vision is useful for those who have age-related trouble with their near vision. For most of us, this begins in our mid-40s where we have to stretch out our arms to see or can no longer see in poor lighting.
Blended vision describes an approach where one eye is focused for distance vision, and the other eye is focused for near vision. This is a common approach for those 40 years and older who consider Laser Eye Surgery.
Blended vision can benefit both hard and soft contact lens wearers, and is sometimes used in combination with other reading aids such as multifocal contact lenses.
- Multifocal Lenses aim to give clear vision at all distances. Most lenses have a zone profile, where distance, intermediate and near vision are accounted for. In these lenses lighting is very important, as this affects your pupil size and helps you focus. In recent years we have much advancement in multifocal lens design; leading to high rates of successful wear.
- Bifocal Contact Lenses are more common in hard (RGP) lens materials. These are particularly useful if you have astigmatism and a toric cornea, but also require clear near vision. Bifocal lenses give clearer vision at both distance, and near.
Those with complex prescriptions often require custom made lenses. More commonly these come in hard (RGP) materials, but are also available as soft lenses for certain conditions.
- Extended range soft lenses are useful for those who have high prescriptions, or with large amounts of astigmatism. They also come in a number of curvatures, so we can find the shape that best suits your eye.
- Keratoconic Lenses are for those with Keratoconus, a progressive condition where the cornea becomes thinner and the vision more distorted. Keratoconics often have trouble seeing clearly through glasses alone. These lenses are usually made from hard (RGP) materials. The rigid shape of the lens acts to mask the underlying irregular corneal shape. Tears flow between the cornea and the lens to give a more regular shape and clearer vision.
- Kerasoft© Lenses are a new design for those with irregular corneas, such as those with early keratoconus. These come in a silicon hydrogel material, providing both great comfort and clear vision.
- Post Graft / Post Refractive Lenses are designed for those who have had corneal grafts, or laser procedures which have altered the corneal shape.
- Scleral Lenses can be useful for those with dry eye. The scleral lens is large in diameter. This means it retains a reservoir of fluid under the lens which remains in contact of the eye to keep it hydrated.
If you are interested in wearing contact lenses for the first time, click below to download our brochure for more detail on the process and the technology we use.
For existing contact lens wearers, you can download a brochure for information on your examination and our fee structure.