Contact lenses are typically worn to correct vision – whether you are long-sighted, near-sighted or presbyopic. The most common type of contact lenses are disposable “soft” contact lenses, which are made from a flexible gel-like material which conforms to the shape of the eye.
Typically the healthiest option is daily contact lenses; intended to be worn once and discarded. With a fresh, clean contact lens worn each day, ‘dailies’ have the lowest rate of eye infection and complications. These thin and light contact lenses are often the most comfortable option as well; particularly if you have dry eye, or have had issues with reusable contact lenses in the past.
Being Good to the Environment
Increasingly we are aware of the impact we have on the environment and many people are concerned about wastage of daily contact lenses. Thanks to Bausch and Lomb we are able to recycle your contact lenses. At both our Lower Hutt and Johnsonville branches you will find a contact lens recycling bin which accepts all brands of contacts lenses as well as the foil and plastic packaging. Your used dailies are turned into spectacle frames for overseas markets, or park benches. (In 2019, with your help, our Lower Hutt branch won the title of Bausch-Lomb’s Best Contact Lens Recycler in NZ.)
Soft contact lenses are also available in reusable formats – being replaced every two weeks or every month. Proper hygiene and cleaning of reusable lenses is essential.
There are unique options available even if you do not require vision correction. Coloured contact lenses are fun for a night out and are even available in prescription.
Acuvue Oasys contact lenses with Transitions™ technology are now available at our practices. These lenses darken when exposed to the UV light when you are outside, providing glare protection like sunglasses! This is a great option for sport and for summer. These lenses are even available in a powerless form if you don’t need vision correction. (Full UV protectant sunglasses should still be worn to protect the whites of your eyes and the skin around your eyes.)
We also fit traditional “hard” rigid gas permeable contact lenses and many of our experienced contact lens wearers will be familiar with these. These are highly customisable and may be more suitable for stronger prescriptions such as high levels of astigmatism, or for people with unusually shaped corneas (keratoconus). Large scleral lenses can also provide a moisture barrier and help patients with dry eye. Orthokeratology lenses are worn overnight and reversibly change the curvature of the cornea to correct vision – meaning clear vision is possible in the day time without wearing any glasses or contact lenses!
Whatever contact lenses are suitable for you, whether they are hard or soft, coloured, tinted or clear -it is important that the time is taken to have them properly fitted to your eyes by a skilled Optometrist. Poorly fitting contact lenses may be uncomfortable and drying, or more worrying – increase your risk of eye infections or other complications.