By Goh Jiah Ying, Optometrist, International Eye Cataract Retina Centre


Specialty contact lenses are complex lenses designed for individuals who find it difficult to wear normal contact lenses due to their individual eye shape, eye  condition or impairment. Some examples of these eye conditions include keratoconus, dry eye, irregular astigmatism and corneal scarring.

Mr Simon Lam, Senior Manager and Programme Leader at Parkway College (Singapore), delivered a lecture titled “Specialty Contact Lenses: When and How to  Use Them?” during the Singapore Primary Eye Care Symposium (SPECS) 2018 held at  One Farrer Hotel on 18-19 July 2018.

Mr Lam shared the many types of specialty contact lenses in the market ranging from rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP), soft contact lenses and hybrid contact lenses. Each lens has its own unique features and requires advanced fitting techniques and skills from a trained professional.

Mr Lam elaborated on the different modalities of RGP lenses which include multifocal lenses, RGP lenses for keratoconus, orthokeratology lenses and scleral lenses. They can be used for complex vision conditions, irregular corneas or myopia control. Before fitting the lenses, he advised professionals to consider various factors including the decision making process, patients’ goals and managing their expectations.

Mr Lam highlighted the different fitting techniques and gave pointers for each modality. He also emphasized the importance of understanding the equipment, good communication with the labs and recognising their limitations, to ensure optimal fitting of the lens. He concluded his lecture by explaining that fitting of specialty lenses can only be conducted by a trained professional and therefore, this is a valuable skill to develop to meet the demands in primary eye care.