Choosing Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are medical devices which, like drugs, provide benefits while posing certain risks. Many people wear contact lenses to correct their vision. The reasons for choosing contacts over glasses or refractive eye surgery (which corrects the shape of the cornea) include lifestyle, sports and appearance.

With all of the convenient and healthy options available today almost anybody can wear contact lenses, including bifocal and progressive (no Line)eye glass wearers as well as those with astigmatism.

In order to use contact lenses safely you will require a contact lens examination, please ask our staff to set up this appointment for you.

Orthokeratology


Orthokeratology is also referred to as Ortho-K, Overnight Vision Correction and Corneal Refractive Therapy.

It is the use of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, normally worn only at night, to improve vision through the reshaping of the cornea. This method can be used as an alternative to eyeglasses, refractive surgery, or for those who prefer not to wear contact lenses during the day. The latter may be due to discomfort from working in air-conditioned or dusty environments, from extended computer usage which reduces blink rates and tear film production or from displacement or loss during sports activities.

Overnight Ortho-K is generally very well accepted since the main feeling is due the eyelids moving over the lens edges. When the eyes remain closed for sleep, there is generally no residual feeling of the lens after the adaptation period. The use of Ortho-K lenses at night tends to prevent the progression of myopia over time.

If you are interested in learning more about Ortho-K lenses, contact us and we will assess your optimum choices of eye treatment and eye wear.


Contact Lenses


Contact lenses have long been the corrective choice for people who prefer not to wear eyeglasses. For particularly active people, eyeglasses may not be the most appropriate solution.

These small plastic lenses require greater responsibility for those who wear them. Your Optometrist can specify for you the precise cleaning and care requirements of your contact lenses. They can also provide a complete fitting and consultation, allowing you to choose between a variety of contact lens styles. The provincial Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not provide coverage for contact lens therapy, although there are some medical exceptions. Your Optometrist will inform you of any charges that may apply to your contact lens-related visits.

Materials

  • Soft contact lenses are easy to wear, particularly for the first-time wearer, coming in a range of disposable options from one day to one year—your Optometrist can recommend the best one for you.
  • Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses are more durable and may provide sharper vision, but since they are not water permeable, they may be more difficult to wear.
  • Ortho-Keratology is a treatment for myopia involving a progression of rigid contacts designed to alter the shape of the cornea and eventually reduce the wearer’s nearsightedness.
Types

  • Extended wear lenses can be worn overnight and continuously for up to one month (with the latest lens materials available), but require more attentive care to prevent infection and related extended wear problems
  • Disposable lenses are the most common, and are discarded after a specified length of time—reduced cleaning time, costs and healthier eyes are among the benefits.
  • Toric lenses are specially curved lenses designed to correct astigmatism [link to Common vision problems > Astigmatism].
  • There are a variety of other types, including coloured, novelty and UV-blocking lenses, and lenses for astigmatism and bifocal needs.

Pools & hot tubs


Water recreation is a great way to relax and exercise, but it’s no place to forget about your eyes. No matter how well they’re maintained, pools and hot tubs contain human bacteria. If you’re not careful, eye infections can impair vision.

When you’re in a pool, wear a snug pair of swimming goggles. Also be careful when wearing contact lenses in water environments.

In hot tubs there is a particular bacteria risk. Ensure that you keep your eyes out of the water, or provide yourself with a thorough shower rinsing afterwards.

Keratoconus


Keratoconus is a disease of the eye in which, slowly over time, the cornea becomes distorted.

Symptoms may not be obvious, as they are vision and eye health conditions themselves, such as light sensitivity, nearsightedness and astigmatism . It is not clear how keratoconus may develop, although heredity may play a role.

Since keratoconus is a progressive disease, appropriate treatment varies over time. Simple correction may suffice at an early stage, followed by rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, and eventually a cornea transplant.

All content is provided for education and information, and is no substitute for the advice of your optometrist. This information is provided courtesy of the British Columbia Association of Optometrists (B.C.A.O.). The B.C.A.O. assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any errors or omissions or from the use of any information contained herein.