As independent optometrists Newby & Padley fit contact lenses from both the leading brands and specialist suppliers.
This enables us to give impartial professional advice on the best lens to suit your lifestyle, prescription and wearing requirements. Advances in lens materials and lens technologies mean today's contact lenses are more comfortable, affordable and can correct a wider range of prescriptions than ever before. Contact lenses are ideal for patients who would like to be free from wearing spectacles, even if just for social and recreational wear.
Contact Lens trial
Patients wishing to try contact lenses for the first time will need an appointment to discuss the lens options available and to try the various options in the eye. Should they wish to proceed, they will need a further appointment to be taught how to insert, remove and care for the lenses. We will ensure you understand what to do before you take the lenses home.
Contact Lens Aftercare
All contact lens wearers should have regular check-ups (aftercare) to ensure that the lenses are still fitting properly, letting enough oxygen through to the eye and are not causing any damage to the surface of the eye. This is often every 6 months and no longer than 12 months between check-ups.
Soft lenses are made from a hydrogel material which combines a gel like material with varying degrees of water content from 35% to around 70%. They are approx. 14mm in diameter so cover the coloured part of the eye with the edge overlapping onto the white of the eye.
Soft lenses are a popular lens option as they are comfortable to wear and quick and easy to adapt to. Modern designs can correct Astigmatism ( with a toric lens) and also varifocal prescriptions. Daily, 2-weekly and monthly disposability is available.
Silicone Hydrogel Lenses
Look and feel like a standard soft hydrogel lens but their advanced silicone material lets more oxygen through to the eye. They are suited to patients who require extended wearing times as well as being suitable for patients who have had problems with standard hydrogels or dry eye symptoms.
These are soft lenses with either an all over tint or an iris pattern printed on the surface of the lens. The most natural effect is achieved where the colour of the eye is enhanced rather than trying to totally change eye colour.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP)
Hard Lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses are smaller than soft lenses. Approximately 9mm in diameter, they are a thin button of transparent plastic and are generally replaced on an annual basis.
RGP lenses are recommended for eyes where more oxygen is required, to correct higher levels of astigmatism and for certain complex prescriptions, where they are often the only contact lens option. They are possibly the healthiest lens option, but because they are more difficult to adapt to and are initially less comfortable, most patients prefer soft lenses.
Bifocal and multi-focal lenses are available along with toric and bi-toric designs for complex astigmatism.
Newby & Padley fit a number of specialist lenses both on a private basis and on behalf of the hospital eye clinic. These include:
Rose K Design lenses in both hard and soft materials for correction of Keratoconus.
Tinted lenses to hide corneal scarring or equalise eyes of differing colour.
Occlusive lenses with a blacked out pupil to eliminate double vision.
Hybrid lenses which offer the advantages of both RGP and Soft Lenses. They have an RGP centre, offering excellent vision, even for patients with significant degrees of astigmatism, coupled with a soft peripheral skirt which gives comfort to match even daily soft lenses.
Nowadays 12 seems to be a good lower age to try contact lenses.
Twenty years ago we would have said 15 yrs old. Before disposable lenses were freely available we wanted to ensure that the eyes had stopped changing before parents invested in contact lenses. This is no longer the case and 12 seems to be the new 15!
We have, in exceptional circumstances with certain stipulations, fitted lenses to an 8 year old. What is critical to successful wear, is that the reason for choosing contact lenses is because the child wants them not because their parent wants them to have them.
At the other end of the scale our oldest contact lens wearer is over 90 years old. However, some patients may find that their eyes become dry from around 45 yrs old which limits their contact lens wearing times.
Contact lenses are ideal for many sports.
Soft contact lenses are less likely to come out during contact sports and less likely to get dust behind them in dusty environments.
Although people do wear contact lenses for playing squash, it should be noted that they do not offer any protection from a squash ball injury, which spectacles do, and we would always recommend some eye protection is worn.
Swimming-related eye infections are possible in anyone but contact lens wearers are at far greater risk than the rest of the population.
The worst culprits for infections are bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and an amoeba known as Acanthamoeba. Both of these can cause very painful infections which result in sight loss or even losing an eye after months of unsuccessful treatment. A contact lens can trap one of these microscopic critters against the eye and contact lens wearers are also more likely to have a miniscule scratch on the eye, which is an open door for said critters to penetrate the eye's surface. Fortunately, these types of infections are rare but swimming in contact lenses does greatly increase this risk.
Doesn't the chlorine kill the bugs though? Not all of them: Acanthamoeba exists in two forms in its life cycle, the trophozoite form and the cystic form. The trophozoites are single-celled organisms which have that classic amoeba look: blobby brainless things which feed on other cells such as bacteria and cornea cells. The cysts are microscopic, dormant, double-walled capsules that can resist chemical disinfection and medical treatments like eye drops. High concentrations of chlorine do not kill the amoeba cysts. In fact the cysts can proliferate in the pool's filter so the filter must be cleaned regularly by reversing the flow.
What can I do - I can't swim in my glasses? Understandably, you do need to see which child is yours and if you're swimming in the sea, a lake or a river, it's great to be able to see the detail of underwater life beneath you. It's safer not to swim in contact lenses at all; if you absolutely have to, the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) advice for swimmers is to use daily disposable lenses with a well-sealed pair of goggles or mask and discard the lenses immediately after you finish swimming.
You can find out about this by watching this short video: