Mortimer Hirst’s optometrists have been the experts in manufacturing and fitting contact lenses since the early 1940s. To this day, contact lenses are a speciality area which our clinical team are experts in and passionate about.
We regularly attend and speak at conferences and courses on complex contact lens design, fitting and troubleshooting. The clinical team also performs research in many speciality contact lens areas, so continue to help shape the future of contact lens design and care.
Whether you would like to try contact lenses for the first time, are a long-term contact lens wearer wanting improved comfort or vision, or would even like to try out a new eye colour, we are the team to see. Nothing is too out of the ordinary for us when it comes to fitting the right pair of contact lenses for you.
When fitting contact lenses, we provide a comprehensive eye examination which includes a corneal topography map to measure the specific shape of your cornea (the translucent front window of the eye). Topography also assesses your tear film quality so we can ensure you receive contact lenses that not only fit your eye perfectly but are comfortable as well. All of your contact lens options are discussed with you and the best option is proposed. We teach you easy techniques to insert and remove your contact lenses. We can even provide you with special tools to make insertion and removal of certain contact lenses easier. Once your contact lens option has been chosen, tailored cleaning solutions, lubricants and contact lens care regimes will be provided to ensure your eyes remain healthy.
Soft contact lenses
There have been many advances in soft contact lens materials. These materials provide less friction between the top eyelid and the contact lens when you blink, so your eyes don’t get as tired and dry during the day. The new materials are excellent at withstanding modern environments such as air conditioning and computer use and can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and presbyopia. Soft contact lenses now cover a wide range of prescriptions from +15.00 to -20.00 dioptres.
Contact lenses for astigmatism
Technology has advanced a lot in this area. We can now correct up to -5.75 dioptres of astigmatism with a soft contact lens. There are many stabilisation techniques we can also offer for various prescriptions to ensure the most stable contact lens fit.
Multifocal contact lenses
If you are currently in single vision soft contact lenses and relying on reading glasses over the top to read, we can move you into a multi-focal contact lens so you are less reliant on or even free from reading glasses. Multifocal soft contact lenses are also proven to slow myopia progression in children.
Social vision contact lenses
Some people get on really well with having their dominant eye calibrated for distance vision and their non-dominant eye calibrated for close up vision. This enables functional vision during the day so you can drive, read a phone, tell the time on a watch, shop and multitask. This is an alternative to multifocal soft contact lenses.
Rigid contact lenses
Rigid contact lenses have been around for many years and there are many happy rigid contact lens wearers. They especially provide excellent vision for high prescriptions and you do not have to replace them as regularly as soft contact lenses. Once you are adapted to the feel of wearing rigid contact lenses they can be a very healthy and reliable long-term visual correction. Mortimer Hirst has in-house contact lens laboratories for rigid lens adjustments, cleaning and polishing, so this can be done for you during your appointment.
Orthokeratology is a reversible alternative to refractive surgery for low to moderate short-sightedness, long-sightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism so you don’t have to wear contact lenses or spectacles during the day. You wear a contact lens mould overnight and it gently remoulds the shape of your cornea. In the morning the new corneal shape means you see clearly for the day. We use customised software to create a bespoke lens for you, to ensure the best vision results.
There are many contact lens options for keratoconus including various diameters of rigid gas permeable contact lenses, hybrid contact lenses (hard in the middle with a soft skirt on the outside) and semi-scleral or scleral contact lenses for advanced cases. Piggybacking a soft contact lens under a rigid contact lens can improve comfort and centration of the rigid gas permeable contact lenses if the rigid contact lens is causing problems alone. We are delighted to have one of the world’s experts on keratoconus, Dr Aki Gokul, as a member of our clinical team.
Cosmetic contact lenses
Coloured contact lenses are now as breathable and comfortable as non-coloured contact lenses. There are many subtle or more vibrant colour choices available, for example sterling gray, pure hazel, green and honey. Coloured contact lenses can also correct myopic or hyperopic prescriptions. We also offer many custom-made cosmetic lenses that can either simply change your eye colour or provide an improved appearance of the eye, along with reducing glare, if you have suffered an injury or other eye abnormalities.
Words: Emilie Lawson, Optometrist