Contact lenses form nowadays a valuable "tool" in the correction of simple refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia), but also in restoring the vision of patients with corneal pathologies (eg keratoconus, following corneal transplantation).
Since the construction of the first lens about 50 years ago, modern contact lenses have been significantly developed, offering better materials, sophisticated optical designs and improved comfort. The main advances concern the arrival of silicone hydrogel contact lenses, which meet the needs of ideal corneal oxygenation, freeing users from long-term symptoms of hypoxia complications. Moreover disposable contact lenses form possibly the healthiest option, ideal for use by children.
Contact lenses are not simply offering greater practicality and "freedom" compared to spectacles, but in many cases (eg in anisometropia, amblyopia and keratoconus) provide better visual experience, while they ensure better binocular vision and larger visual field.
Alongside a comprehensive eye examination for the selection of the most appropriate lens for each user, the Contact Lens Clinic in Athens Eye Hospital specializes in:
1. Fitting soft contact lenses with materials offering high oxygen permeability, whoch allows the ideal oxygenation for the cornea, making it safe and healthy for everyday use. For example, silicone hydrogel (SiH) lenses, due to their high permeability to oxygen, help users to get rid of complications and biomicroscopy findings resulting from hypoxia. They form the ideal lenses for those experiencing seasonal allergies or dryness problems in their work environment.
2. Fitting contact Lenses with special optical designs for the correction of astigmatism (toric, rigid-gas permeable, RGP), even in cases of very high amounts of astigmatism (up to 10 diopters) with the highest level of manufacturing accuracy.
3. Optimised lenses to correct presbyopia (i.e. "multifocal"). Modern contact lenses for presbyopia exhibit multifocal aspheric designs which offer "simultaneous" distant and near vision, providing satisfactory vision for a wide range of distant, near and intermediate distances. This is ensured by a gradual increase of the refractive power of the lens from the periphery to the central portion of the lens.
4. Customised lenses (RGP, keratoconic, semi-sclerals, hybrid) for restoring vision in various complex conditions of the cornea, such as keratoconus, pelucid marginal degeneration and cases following corneal transplantation. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses form the commonest approach to correct high and irregular astigmatism but they also find application in the treatment of keratoconus, offering better vision, by "flattening" part of the bulging cornea. Studies have shown that only 10% of patients with keratoconus do not show significant improvement in vision with RGP lenses, and in these cases corneal transplantation or intra-corneal rings form the alternative options. The materials of rigid contact lenses, today, due to their high oxygen permeability, provide better oxygenation for the eye and form the ideal option in cases of hypoxia. Moreover, due to their hydrophobicity they are much less likely to cause infections. For this reason they are used in cases of chronic allergies to soft contact lens materials and/or soft lens cleaning solutions.
5. Customised "anti-myopia" contact lenses («orthokeratology» lenses which are used only during sleep), which give the possibility of early treatment of myopia in school years and form an innovative method in the correction of myopia. Very recent studies have shown that orthokeratology treatment not only ensures clear vision without glasses or contact lenses during daytime, but also slows the progression of myopia in children. The method requires special orthokeratology contact lenses that are, releasing the child from using glasses during the day.
6. Education of the contact lens user in handling his lenses and the lens care products by using advanced video training modules and purposely-designed patient information brochures.