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Contact Lens Types

There are a number of different types of contact lenses currently available, each with their own unique features. To avoid confusion we’ve included a brief description of the different kinds, so you’re equipped with some basic background information. When you come for your appointment we’ll discuss and assess your needs and together select the most suitable type.


Ortho K

This is a revolutionary new vision correction therapy. The procedure uses specially designed contact lens that gently corrects vision overnight, eliminating the need for contact lenses or glasses during the day.


Ortho K brings a modern approach to a technique known as “Orthokeratology”. Ortho K lenses are manufactured from a special highly oxygen permeable material. When worn during the night these lenses apply a controlled shape to the cornea, eliminating short sightedness. Ortho K is ideal for low-mid shortsighted people and is a safe, comfortable, semi-permanent form of vision correction without the risks associated with surgery. Wewere one of the first opticians in the country to offer patients this new treatment and our Optometrists have undergone extensive Ortho K training to deliver this service.


Hard contact lenses

These are the original contact lenses, made from a rigid Perspex material. Whilst being very durable, these contact lenses do not allow essential oxygen to pass through to the surface of the eye. Hard contact lenses have now been largely replaced by “gas permeable” lenses. Occasionally, they are still used for specialist purposes.


Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses

These lenses are made from semi-rigid materials, which allow more oxygen to pass through to the surface of the eye, making them much healthier to wear. RGPs only cover part of the cornea. As these contact lenses float on your tears there is some movement whilst blinking, it therefore takes slightly longer to get used them. However once settled they prove to be very comfortable.


RGPs are suitable for most prescriptions, but more so for patients who have astigmatism, where they can give better standards of vision. RGPs are easy to handle, clean and very durable.


Soft contact lenses

Soft contact lenses are made from pliable gel-like materials, which commonly contain between 38% and 75% water, allowing oxygen to pass more freely to the eye. Your tears help maintain the softness and flexibility of the contact lens making them more comfortable to wear and adaptation is much quicker than with RGPs.


Since soft contact lenses contain water, they can become contaminated, and therefore it is essential to follow the correct cleaning and disinfecting procedure.


Disposable contact lenses

Traditionally, soft lenses have been replaced on an annual basis. Modern consensus is that this is unhealthy and not cost effective. Increasingly sophisticated material technology has led to the development of high quality soft contact lenses designed to be replaced more frequently and that are more and more breathable and comfortable. The combination of regular replacement and high oxygen transmission makes these contact lenses extremely healthy and comfortable to wear.


Disposable contact lenses can be replaced every day, weekly, twice a monthtwi or once a month. Currently disposable contact lenses are available for the correction of all common vision correction needs including shortsightedness, longsightedness, astigmatism and the need for reading glasses.


Extended wear contact lenses

The latest advances in contact lens technology have led to the development of new types of disposable soft contact lens that can be worn overnight. These contact lenses are made from SILICONE-HYDROGEL, some can even been worn continuously for up to 30 days.


Coloured lenses

You can now have tinted/coloured contact lenses, which can enhance or change the natural colour of your eyes without affecting what you see. These contact lenses, which are as comfortable as other contact lenses, are available in most prescriptions and in a variety of replacement frequencies.

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