Before wearing contact lenses, people usually have a number of questions regarding them and what is involved with being a contact lens wearer. The following information will answer some of these questions and assist you in choosing which contact lenses best suit your individual requirements.
The most common contact lens types at Innovative Eye Care are:
A soft contact lens, a rigid orthokeratology lens and a rigid scleral contact lens
These are the most common lenses used by patients today. They have an diameter of approximately 14mm and a large percentage of the lens is composed of water. Soft lenses are ideal for most sports, especially contact sports, as they are less likely to be lost. If they are damaged, new lenses are readily available in your multipack supply. They are generally more comfortable initially than gas permeable lenses, and it takes less time to adapt to wearing them, although they cannot correct some refractive conditions as effectively. Learn about proper care of soft disposable lenses here, or read some handy tips for long-term success here.
There are several different types of disposable (frequent replacement) lenses:
RGP lenses are made from a stiffer material and do not drape on the eyes like soft lenses do. Because of this, careful fitting is required. RGP lenses range in size from approximately 9-10mm to scleral lenses of approximately 16-17mm. Rigid lenses are generally reserved for extreme prescriptions or specialist fits, such as keratoconus. Orthokeratology lenses are a form of these hard lenses. Innovative Eye Care has specialised in rigid lens fitting for a number of years and uses a pioneering lens design software called EyeSpace to custom-design every hard lens used in the practice. Learn about proper care of RGP lenses here. For more specific care instructions for scleral lenses, click here.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K for short) is an exciting new treatment in vision correction now available to our patients, eliminating the need to wear contact lenses or spectacles to see clearly during the day. Ortho-K vision correction works by gently reshaping the centre of the cornea overnight with specially designed contact lenses. Technically speaking, these lenses use the hydrostatic forces of you own tear-film underneath the lens to redistribute the epithelial cells on the eye’s surface. Essentially this means that once the lenses are removed in the morning, you will have clear vision without any spectacles or contact lenses. Ortho-K can treat mild-moderate myopia (short-sightedness), mild hyperopia (long-sightedness), mild astigmatism and even presbyopia (loss of near focus as the eyes age). The Ortho-K vision correction process is completely reversible. It has recently been shown to reduce the progression of short-sightedness in younger patients. Learn about proper care of ortho-K lenses here.
The costs of being fitted into contact lenses varies depending on the type of lens used and the complexity of the fitting process. Careful fitting of all contact lenses is required to offer the clearest and most comfortable vision without compromising the health of the eye.
In most cases patients with high prescriptions, different prescriptions between the eyes or irregular prescriptions (eg keratoconus) may have the majority of the costs of their contact lens fitting consultations covered by Medicare. In patients that do not meet this criteria there is a fitting charge of $150 for standard cases and refits, and $180 for complex cases. This includes the appointments to teach you how to use the lenses, aftercare appointments to ensure the lenses are fitting well over time, and any trial lens required to get the fit correct.
In most contact lens fits we use technology such as corneal topography and OCT scans to perfect the fit of our lenses. Medicare does not provide benefits for these additional tests and the use of this equipment will carry a small additional charge (Students, children and Pension/Health Care Card holders get 50% off).
If you have a corneal disease such as keratoconus you may be best to take advantage of Innovative Eye Care's Platinum Rigid Lens Fitting Plan. This program sets a new benchmark for contact lens fitting in Australia. This plan includes the cost of any lenses and all consultation time, technology fees and solutions/drops required for a 12 month period. The goal of this comprehensive fitting programme is to fit your eyes with the best rigid lens design possible so that they can be worn all day with good comfort, excellent vision, good stability and healthy eyes. Please click here (http://innovativeeyecare.com.au/what-we-do/platinum-custom-contact-lens-fitting-plan) for more information about this Platinum Plan.
Daily replacement soft lenses tend to be priced at just over $100 for a 3 month supply per eye. A monthly replacement soft lens is about 2/3rd of this cost for the same 3 month period per eye, but does require cleaning solutions, is less convenient and carries a higher risk of infection than a daily replacement lens. More complex soft lenses types like toric lenses to correct astigmatism, or multifocal lenses for patients with presbyopia will be more expensive than a standard lens.
Rigid lenses (including orthokeratology lenses) cost $350-$450 each depending on the complexity of the design. Scleral lenses are more difficult to manufacure and cost $600 each. Don't forget these lenses last on average 1-2 years. Back up lenses of identical parameters can be ordered at half price within 12 months of the original order.
Please feel free to contact our team for more details about the costs of different contact lenses.