Can I use contact lenses?
Contact lenses can be used to correct myopia (short sightedness) or hyperopia (long sightedness). There are also contact lenses that correct for astigmatism or for multifocal lens wearers.
With the wide range of contact lenses to choose from, it is important to ensure that you are correctly fitted with the right contact lens for your needs. Otherwise, the freedom and benefit of contact lenses will not be realised.
What happens during a contact lens fitting?
A contact lenses fitting is not the same as an eye test. Therefore, for contact lens wearers, the fitting is required in addition to a standard eye examination.
The two exams are quite different and a contact lens fitting consultation is not covered by Medicare unless a patient has a high prescription.
A contact lens fitting is essential to determine the correct contact lenses in terms of type, power and fit. More specifically, a spectacle prescription is measured for optical lenses that are 12mm to 14mm from the eye, while a contact lens fitting measures for lenses that sit directly on the eye. Contact lenses that have not been correctly fitted can be detrimental to your eye health.
The optometrist will make suggestions on the most suitable wearing pattern for contact lenses, and where appropriate will prescribe a pair of trial lenses. Instruction on wearing and how to handle and properly care for the new lenses will be provided. A follow-up exam will be scheduled to ensure all is well with the new lenses, and that the eyes have adjusted to contact lens wear.
Types of contact lenses
Soft Disposable Contact Lenses
Soft disposable contact lenses generally provide the most comfortable wearing experience and are easy to care for. They are available in daily, fortnightly and monthly replacement options.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Multifocal contact lenses can be a good option for those who find reading with single vision contact lenses difficult. They provide a balance between near and distance vision.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Unlike soft contact lenses, these lenses are a breathable harder type of material. These lenses are often custom-made, hence a great option for those with high scripts or more complex conditions such as high astigmatism or keratoconus.
Orthokeratology uses hard lenses designed to be worn overnight to give clear, corrected vision during the day. Ortho-k lenses are also used to help reduce the progression of myopia (or short-sightedness).