Contact lenses have come a long way in the last few years so that even for people who may have tried contact lenses some years ago it is well worth looking at them again.
Contact lenses are available in single vision, single vision toric lenses which correct astigmatism, Bifocal and Multifocal lenses for presbyopes.
In addition to these types there are many different combinations of hard and soft materials, plus frequency of replacement - daily, fortnightly, monthly, extended wear, yearly, Gas Permeable.
The recent addition of fashion lenses - either straight colours or "crazy" leaves the patient with a bewildering set of options.
If you are considering contact lenses as a replacement for spectacles, or just as an occasional alternative, then there is a process which we must take you through.
Presuming you are already wearing spectacles, and have an up
to date prescription, there is no need for an eye examination. However
if you are just considering cosmetic lenses anyone without a current
prescription will need an eye examination.
Once you have a prescription then we can take you on to the next step....
The Contact Lens Trial
The contact lens practitioner will first discuss with you why you want to wear contact lenses. Your general health and any medication you are taking will be checked at this time as they can effect your ability to wear contact lenses.
An occular examination will then take place where special equipment such as a "slit lamp" and "keratometer" are used to check the condition and measurements of your eye.
Now comes an important process where the practitioner and the patient go through all the different lens options before selecting what is the best fit for your particular case.
A trial lens will either be taken from stock or ordered specially. The practitioner will place the lens onto the surface of your eye. Against popular beliefs this is not painful as modern lens materials are very soft and flexible - the lenses will be left to settle for about 15-20 minutes. After this time the fit will again be checked along with your levels of vision whilst wearing the lenses
After this short trial your vision and the fit of the lens will be checked in case any alterations need to be made and you will be asked if you want to proceed.
Care and Handling
At this point your lenses will be ordered for you. They will normally be with us in a few days. The first time you collect your lenses we will want you to attend the practice where a practitioner will recheck that the lenses fit correctly, ensure you know how to handle the lenses and use any solutions recommended for the care of both the lenses and your eyes.
This is a very important part of the process as any problems you may have could well be caused by mishandling and lack of care.
Your first aftercare appointment will be after about one month when a thorough examination of the eyes will take place and the fitting checked again. Any problems will be discussed and hopefully your next batch of lenses ordered.
Regular aftercare appointments are needed throughout the time you wear lenses.
There are many manufacturers of contact lenses but these are the ones which Richard Petrie Optometrist use in the main:
for information from our contact lens suppliers: