Contact lenses are more comfortable than ever to wear and offer freedom from glasses. More than 3 million people in the UK enjoy the many benefits that contact lenses have to offer. As well as the obvious cosmetic advantages, many people actually see better with their contact lenses than they do with their spectacles, as contact lenses provide a more natural form of vision correction. There are also many practical advantages to contact lens wear for sports and recreational use.
We offer daily and monthly disposable lenses as well as coloured lenses on a planned replacement scheme. We also offer a direct debit option to help spread your ongoing costs. All of our regular optometrists are qualified contact lens practitioners and have extensive experience.
The technology of contact lenses has advanced in recent years so that they are more suitable for a wider range of prescriptions. We provide a fully comprehensive contact lens fitting service coupled with independent advice. This ensures you receive the most comfortable lenses providing optimum vision. At Karen J Boulton Opticians, we ensure we remain at the forefront of advances in contact lens technology as improved designs and materials are constantly introduced to the existing product ranges.
During the contact lens consultation, various measurements relating to the curvature and prescription of the eye are taken. The health of the front surface of the eye is also checked thoroughly. A trial pair of lenses is inserted during the appointment if appropriate to establish an accurate fit and prescription. This also enables you to get a 'feel' for the lenses.
These are soft lenses designed to be worn once only and then disposed of. Each lens is sterile and packed individually to ensure safe and easy wear. They can be worn everyday or just occasionally eg. sports or social wear. Also available in colours.
For more frequent wear, a monthly or two-weekly disposable lens may be more suitable. These are designed for daily wear and require a regular but simple cleaning process. Also available in colours.
Toric lenses are necessary for people with astigmatism (asymmetry of the front surface of the eye) and provide clearer vision. They are available as daily, monthly or annual replacement lenses.
For people who fall outside the parameters of monthly lenses an annual lens may be recommended. They can be tailor made to correct your prescription accurately and normally last for one year. The cleaning process and wearing schedule is similar to monthly/two weekly disposable lenses.
These lenses are suitable for people who currently wear varifocal spectacles and provide clear vision at near and far distances. Available as daily, frequent replacement or annual replacement lenses.
These are made of a rigid material and are slightly smaller in diameter than a soft lens. These can be worn for longer hours than soft lenses and are designed for frequent daily use. Available only as six monthly/annual replacement.
Our contact lens practitioners will advise you on the most suitable lens type, wearing schedule, replacement frequency and care regime for your needs. Never switch the type of lens or solution you use except on the advice of your practitioner.
Remember that contact lenses can only be fitted by or under the supervision of a registered optometrist, qualified dispensing optician or medical practitioner. Regular aftercare check-ups, at intervals specified by your practitioner, are essential to ensure that your eyes remain healthy and that you are using the best lenses for your particular needs. Contact lenses are constantly improving so even if you have been unsuccessful in the past it is worth trying again. Nowadays, almost all those who need vision correction and want to wear contact lenses can do so.
We are able to offer a payment plan on a direct debit scheme to assist in spreading the cost. Ask a member of staff for details.
For most people, contact lens wear is safe and completely trouble free. However, research studies have shown a slightly increased risk of eye infection associated with contact lens wear when compared with no lens wear. Sleeping with your lenses in carries a higher risk than taking them out each night, although the new, highly permeable silicone hydrogel lenses may carry a lower risk than traditional extended wear lenses. Rigid gas permeable lenses and daily disposables have an extremely low incidence of infection.
Other important risk factors highlighted by research include the following:
Poor patient compliance - Wearers not caring properly for their lenses.Dirty storage cases - Wearers not cleaning their storage case regularly.
For lenses that are re-used, rather than worn once and discarded, the following guidance applies:
After removing your contact lenses it is essential that you disinfect them. This prevents harmful organisms building up on the lens. Your contact lens practitioner will advise you of the best contact lens system and care regime for your type of lenses. This may include additional cleaning procedures, such as rubbing or rinsing. Disinfection involves soaking your lenses in solution in a storage case for a specific period of time. Never re-use disinfecting solution or top up - it must be discarded and replaced with fresh solution each time the lenses are stored. Only use the care products recommended by your practitioner and follow the instructions carefully.
Rinse your storage case, leave it open to dry after use each day, and replace monthly. A dirty case is a major source of infection. Clean the storage case using a clean toothbrush and contact lens solution on a weekly basis.
With daily disposable lenses, no cleaning and disinfection is required after wear since the lenses are worn only once and thrown away. Do not re-use these lenses since disinfecting solution will not be available and they are unsuitable for repeated use. Wearing daily disposables does not decrease the importance of regular check-ups with your contact lens practitioner.
Extended wear lenses are specially designed for overnight wear and can be continuously worn for up to a week or a month at a time before being discarded. Do not sleep in lenses unless advised to do so by your practitioner to do so. Your practitioner will also advise you on how to look after the lenses if you have to remove them during this time. You may need to attend more frequently for check-ups if you wear this type of lens.
Useful tips for contact lens care The following tips apply to all contact lens types:
Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses.Have an up-to-date pair of spectacles for when you need to remove your lenses.Replace the lenses at the interval specified by your practitioner.Have regular check-ups with your practitioner as recommended.Seek professional advice if you are having problems with your contact lenses.Ask yourself these three important questions each day that you wear your lenses:
If you cannot answer 'yes' to all of these, or you have any other doubts concerning your contact lenses, remove your lenses immediately and seek the advice of your contact lens practitioner.
Go to bed with a painful red eye - seek advice immediately.
Bring any contact lens in contact with tap water.
Wet your lenses with saliva.Wear your lenses for swimming (unless you use goggles) or showering.