Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can be prescribed to anyone who requires corrective eyewear. At Brisbane Optometrists we offer two different forms of contact lenses: soft and rigid. Soft lenses are typically made from the traditional hydrogel. More recently, soft lenses are also being made in the newer silicone hydrogel material. Silicone hydrogel lenses allow up to 8 times more oxygen to pass through the lens, thus providing a healthier environment for the cornea (front of the eye). Some silicone hydrogel lenses have been FDA approved for overnight wear.

Traditional rigid lenses were made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), but are now more commonly prescribed in one of the many gas permeable (GP) materials. Gas permeable lenses allow for increased oxygen transmission to the cornea and some have also been approved for overnight wear. Soft and rigid contact lenses may be prescribed for patients with myopia (near sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (the need for reading correction). Tinted soft contact lenses to enhance your natural eye colour are also available.

With many years of combined expertise and a large selection of contact lenses, we can offer countless contact lens options. Regardless of your current success with spectacles, there's bound to be a lens for you.

Types of Lenses

There are several types of contact lenses to choose from, and the following information will help you to find the contacts that are right your eyes and lifestyle:

  • Soft contact lenses are the most comfortable contact lenses, the average amount of time one needs to get used to them being only a few days, and the soft plastic of the lens allows oxygen to pass through to the eye easily.
  • Extended Wear contact lenses are predominantly soft contact lenses that are made to be used on an overnight basis or for as long as 30 days.
  • Disposable contact lenses are designed to be used just once each day and then discarded and replaced by another pair. Most people who wear contact lenses have some kind of soft disposable contact lenses.
  • Rigid Gas Permeable lenses are harder and thicker than soft contact lenses but give crisper vision and collect less debris than soft contact lenses. Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses also last longer than soft contact lenses, but they are less comfortable, the average amount of time one needs to get used to them being a month or more.
  • There are also decorative contact lenses that do not correct vision but do change the appearance of the eye. Decorative lenses can have interesting effects on the shape and colour of the pupil.

Getting Your Contacts

The Centre's optometrists and you will have a fitting session for your lenses to make sure that you not only know how to use your contact lenses but that you also know how to clean and maintain your lenses. You must have a current, valid prescription for glasses/contacts in order to purchase contacts. If you do not have a prescription, you can make an appointment with The optometrists to undergo an eye examination, and they will insure that your contacts are accurate, comfortable, and manageable.

Bifocal Contact Lenses

Distance vision through a bifocal contact lens Near vision througha bifocal contact lens

Whether you are near sighted, farsighted or even if you do not need any visual correction, you will likely need the help of reading glasses when you reach your 40's. This is called presbyopia This change is a natural age-related change that occurs in everyone, unlike near sightedness or farsightedness. With age, the structures within the eyes change and can no longer shift focus from far to near. Some of the early signs and symptoms of presbyopia are difficulties with near work or computer use and eye fatigue towards the end of the day. Many people are currently using bifocal or multifocal eyeglasses to help correct presbyopia.

If your work or lifestyle prevents you from comfortably wearing bifocals or multifocal eyeglasses, or if you are tired of constantly putting on and taking off your reading glasses, our doctors can evaluate to see if bifocal or multifocal contact lenses are for you.

Recent advances in contact lens designs have allowed wearers to drive, work on the computer and read without the need for eyeglasses. Depending on your prescription, soft lenses or gas permeable lenses may be prescribed for you. So regardless of your current success in traditional bifocal or multifocal glasses, bifocal contact lenses may better suit your needs.

Cosmetic or Prosthetic Lens Service

Custom tinted and hand paintedsoft contact lenses
Prosthetic soft contact lens

The Cosmetic or Prosthetic Lens Service at the Optometric Centre of Brisbane helps people with injured, deformed, or disfigured seeing or non-seeing eyes as well as people who have lost eyes through accidents, disease or genetic abnormalities, such as albinism.

The services provided include designing and fitting cosmetic/prosthetic lenses made of soft or gas permeable materials to match the patient's natural eye colour. These therapeutic lenses can include vision enhancing optics as well as improve the appearance of the patient's eye features. Many prosthetic options are available to enhance the appearance, vision or comfort of.

ONE DAY DISPOSABLE LENS: The very latest contact lens technology, silicone hydrogel, is now available in daily disposable lenses. These lenses are lens wear. Now as cost effective as longer lasting lenses that require cleaning.

SLEEP-IN LENS: The ultimate in convenience & safety. The Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses® is a medically safe contact lens in which to sleep for up to one month, under doctor care.

ASTIGMATISM DISPOSABLE TORIC LENS *sleep-in lenses now available*: Even for large prescriptions, also available in colours. This new technology allows contact lens wear for patients that gave up in the past. Try it again, for the first time.

TWO WEEK DISPOSABLE LENS: Offers convenience, it's affordable & has UV protection. 

BIFOCAL DISPOSABLE LENS: State of the art comfort, convenience & vision WITHOUT glasses. Perfect for your office. 

COLORED DISPOSABLE LENS: For fun, fashion, comfort & clear vision. 

Corneal Reshaping

Orthokeratology or corneal reshaping is the use of custom designed gas permeable contact lenses to reshape the cornea and correct for near sightedness.

Patients who undergo orthokeratology wear their contact lenses at night, while sleeping, and generally do not require any vision correction during the day. For optimal vision correction, orthokeratology lenses are typically worn each night for a minimum of 8 hours. The results of orthokeratology are reversible and there is no permanent change to the cornea.

Orthokeratology lenses are an excellent option for active adults and children who desire freedom from spectacle or contact lens wear during their daily tasks. FDA approved for the use in children, orthokeratology lenses are also an excellent option for the young athlete who swims, surfs or plays water polo.

Our Contact Lens Service is ready to assist you if you are considering the reduction of your nearsighted prescription.


Keratoconus is a disorder that results in the thinning of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye). The condition generally affects both eyes (bilateral), but one eye tends to be more advanced (asymmetric) than the other.  In the beginning stages of keratoconus, patients may be able to achieve good vision with spectacles or soft contact lenses. As the condition progresses, and corneal surface irregularities increases, spectacles and soft lenses may no longer be able to provide acceptable vision. As a result, custom fitted gas permeable contact lenses may be necessary to restore optimal vision.

General facts on keratoconus

  • Estimated occurrence is 1 out of every 2000 persons in the general population
  • The disease may be diagnosed during late adolescence or early twenties
  • There is no significant gender, ethnic or social pattern
  • The exact cause of keratoconus is unknown
  • Symptoms include blurry and/or distorted vision
  • Some patients complain of itchy eyes or have associated eye rubbing tendencies
  • The continued thinning of the cornea progresses slowly and may reach a plateau

Management of keratoconus

  • Contact lenses are not a cure for keratoconus.  They simply provide the best means to improve vision.
  • 10-20% of keratoconus cases may eventually need a corneal transplant.
  • Corneal transplantation is usually considered only in cases where contact lenses cannot be worn or do not provide adequate vision.
  • The rate of corneal transplant success for keratoconus is approximately 95%, but as with all operations, it involves potentially serious risks.
  • Surgeons may recommend Intacs, an insertion of two clear crescent-shaped plastic polymers into the front of the eye when contact lenses or glasses do not offer functional vision
  • The goal of Intacs is to reduce the amount of distortion on the cornea caused by the keratoconus
  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses may still be needed after surgery for vision correction.
  • Laser refractive surgery is strongly not recommended

Our service offers customized care for patients with keratoconus including contact lens fitting, and corneal health management. When necessary, we will recommend appropriate consultation with referral to other corneal specialists and surgeons.

Contact Lenses for Post-Surgical and Irregular Corneas

Ocular injury, disease, infection or surgery can leave the corneal surface irregular. As a result, the cornea may be unable to precisely refract light that is entering the eye.

Patients who have these types of corneas will experience poor vision from the visual distortions that cannot be corrected with conventional eyeglasses or soft contact lenses. For years, our Contact Lens Service has been helping these patients regain vision through the use of specialty designed contact lenses. Custom designed gas permeable lenses help to mask the surface irregularities of the damaged cornea in a way that eyeglasses and soft lenses can't.

By designing lens systems that may combine gas permeable lenses with eyeglasses or gas permeable lenses with soft lenses (piggyback), our doctors are trained to utilise the most advanced contact lens designs and materials to help improve vision while maintaining optimal corneal health. Each patient will be prescribed a lens system that is healthy, comfortable and visually functional.

Patients who may benefit from this service may also include those who have had corneal transplant surgery, radial keratotomy surgery or those with corneal scarring and irregularities from injury or corneal disease. If you or someone you know is experiencing visual disturbance from any of these conditions, our Service may be able to help you.