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 types, so you're equipped with some basic background information. When you attend your appointment, we'll discuss and assess your needs and together select the most suitable type.

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.

Contact lens trials are free of charge if not successful*

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses

Made from semi-rigid materials, these lenses allow more oxygen to pass through to the surface of the eye, making them much healthier to wear. RGPs cover part of the cornea and float on your tears, meaning there is some movement whilst blinking. This can take slightly longer to get used to, but once settled, they prove to be very comfortable. RGPs are suitable for most prescriptions, but more so for patients who have astigmatism or irregular corneas. RGPs are easy to handle, clean and very durable.

Ortho K

Ortho K, or "Orthokeratology”, is a revolutionary vision correction therapy. The procedure uses specially designed RGP contact lenses and gently corrects vision overnight while asleep, eliminating the need for contact lenses or glasses during the day. 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 short-sighted people and is a safe and comfortable form of vision correction, without the risks associated with surgery.

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Scleral contact Lenses

Scleral lenses are made from similar materials to the RGP lenses, but have a larger diameter which means they vault over the cornea and come to a rest upon the white part of the eye (sclera). This gives an increased comfort to the lens, as well as being ideal for high prescriptions or irregular corneas. A tear fluid reservoir fills the gap between the eye and cornea and therefore they can also be suitable for people who suffer with dry eye.

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; adaptation is also much quicker than with RGPs. Since soft contact lenses contain water, they can become contaminated, therefore it is essential to follow the correct cleaning and disinfecting procedure.

Disposable contact lenses

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 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 month or once a month. Currently, disposable contact lenses are available for the correction of all common vision correction needs, including short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism and the need for reading glasses.

Hybrid contact lenses

A hybrid contact lens combines two different types of lenses. The lenses consist of a central RGP lens surrounded by a soft lens skirt. This provides high-quality vision, which can be achieved with RGP lenses for normal and irregular corneas, as well as the comfort and stability given by a soft contact lens.

Extended wear contact lenses

The latest advances in contact lens technology have led to the development of new types of disposable soft contact lenses. These can be worn overnight, albeit with increased risk, which needs to be managed carefully. These contact lenses are made from SILICONE-HYDROGEL - some can even be worn continuously for up to 30 days.

Toric contact lenses

These are specially designed lenses to correct astigmatism. In previous years, these were difficult to measure, design and fit, but this is no longer the case. Opt for RGP, soft or disposable soft toric lenses to achieve exceptional vision.

Multifocal contact lenses

All the baby boomers are at the age where reading difficulties can be expected. These lenses are highly successful suiting new wearers, those who already wear contact lenses and even those who have no need for any other optical correction. Multifocal lenses do not work like varifocal lenses and are such a natural alternative visual experience. Over half of our new lens fittings at BBR are for multifocals.

Contact lenses for children

Many Optometrists and Opticians simply will not fit children with lenses. Our experience is that children manage lenses very well, gaining immense confidence, especially when playing sport or on stage. We do not put a lower age limit on lens wear; we prefer to look at each individual child and family on a case-by-case basis.

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.

*there may be a charge for an eye examination. Following a successful fitting, there will be a fitting fee to cover the time. This fee is reduced if you join EyeLife.

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