Contact Lenses – An Overview

Contact lenses have come a long way over time. Leonardo da Vinci illustrated the concept of contact lenses in 1508 and in 1887 the first contact lens made from glass (yes, glass) was produced. As we see in other fields in our modern world, the technology of contact lens manufacturing has improved expoentially and our options are just about endless.

In the Optometry industry, we often hear patients tell us that they cannot wear contact lenses because they have astigmatism and this is simply not true. Our Optometrists can fit just about any type of prescription including:

  • Astigmatism and Keratoconus
  • Short-sightedness (Myopia)
  • Far-sightedness (Hyperopia)
  • Presbyopia (Multifocal contact lenses)
  • Irregular corneas such as corneal graft patients

During your eye examination, our Optometrists will assist you in determining the best type of contact lenses to suit your prescription and your lifestyle. Contact lenses are not a one type fits all kind of product and we will help you choose a lens that suits your individual needs.

Contact Lens Types

Contact lenses are usually classified as ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ lenses. Soft contact lenses are disposable and are available as daily or monthly replacement options. Some specialty soft lenses can be worn up to 6 months. Soft contact lenses are available in a wide range of prescriptions and brands and generally allow a high amount of oxygen to the cornea, making them healthier than ever before.
Hard contact lenses also maintain excellent corneal health and can generally be worn up to 2 years with proper care. Hard lenses are available in a variety of designs such as RGP’s (rigid gas permeable) and Scleral lenses (which fit over the eye and do not touch the cornea). Hybrid lenses are also available which are hard in the center and have a soft outer skirt for better comfort.

Our practices around Cape Town use advanced technologies such as OCT scans and corneal topographers to improve the accuracy of the fit of the lenses. Topography is essentially the mapping of the cornea and the OCT allows us to examine the fit of Scleral lenses down to the last nano-meter!

Contact us for appointment, pricing and additional product information.

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