Eye Health Central

High Power Prescriptions

What Are The Best Contact Lenses for High Power Prescriptions?

Many people are surprised to learn that contact lenses can be prescribed for very high degrees of myopia, even for people who are require correction of more than -10 diopters.

People who have high power prescriptions are familiar with their first set of thick eyeglasses and have hunted down the thinnest lenses possible but may still want to try out lenses or at least have them for some occasions.

The highest level of corrective power for monthly soft contact lenses is about -12 Dioptres (bear in mind that the average prescription for short sighted people is -2.00 Dioptres), and is available from both Purevision 2HD and Biofinity.

For people with astigmatism, who require toric lenses, the maximum is about -9 Dioptres of sphere. These are also available from Pure Vision 2 HD Astigmatism, and Biofinity Toric.

Are High Power Prescription Contact Lenses Comfortable?

It's important to know that high powered soft contact lenses are a bit thicker at the edge than low powered ones, and are more likely to be felt while wearing them. Even so, they are comfortable enough for most people who choose to wear them. Because they are thicker, they are also more likely to contribute to dry eyes as the soft hyrdrogel material the lens is comprised of can wick away moisture from the surface of the eye. This can also negatively affect the oxygen permeability of the lens. For these reasons, some people who wear high powered contact lenses experience eye fatigue or irritation after wearing the lenses for more than 12 hours. However, soft contact lenses like the Purevision 2HD, which is a extended wear lens, can be worn on a daily wear basis (up to 12 hours), allowing a lot of oxygen to pass through the material to the eye, keeping them comfortable through the day.

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses for High Power Prescriptions

RGP lenses are smaller, thinner, more oxygen permeable, and do not absorb moisture from the surface of the eye. Many people with high power prescriptions may choose RGP lenses over soft contacts. Although, since RGP lenses don't conform to the shape of your eye the way soft lenses do, they usually take some time to get used to. It is possible to correct in excess of 20 dioptres of shortsightedness using gas permeable lenses.

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 6 Sep 2016, Last modified: 17 Jul 2019