Contact Lenses

As an independent practice, we have access to the best contact lenses and brands on the market and our optometrists have complete freedom to fit you with the contact lenses best suited to your requirements.

Our optometrists are fully qualified and experienced in fitting all types of contact lenses. Ali Akay and Elanor Turnbull are members of British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and are constantly reviewing the latest innovations in the contact lens industry.

Contact lens on finger

Types of Contact Lenses

Are contact lenses for me?

Advances in contact lens technology means that almost everyone can wear contact lenses. Modern contact lenses are convenient, comfortable, and easier to use than ever before. If you would like clear vision, with a wide field of view, not having to worry about spectacles fogging up, getting wet or moving around, then contact lenses may be for you.

Recent developments in contact lens design and material mean that contact lens wear is now an option for the vast majority of our patients. Even if you have previously tried contact lenses and given up, or been told you are not suitable for contact lenses, now may be the time to try again! Contact lens technology has changed vastly over the last few years and is now a viable option for most prescriptions, including for reading.

We are contact lens specialists

We have a particular interest and expertise in fitting contact lenses for specialist and complex medical requirements, like Keratoconus.

One of the most common reasons that patients used to stop using contact lenses was because of dry eyes. With new advancements in contact lens materials and dry eye management, this is now rarely a problem. Contact lenses have been developed to feel as if you are not wearing a lens at all. So ask your optometrist if you can try contact lenses again and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Contact lenses for children

With many years of experience in specialist hospital contact lens clinics, our optometrists Ali Akay and Elanor Turnbull regularly fit contact lenses to children, and even new born babies! However, this is normally for medical reasons which make wearing glasses impossible, or impractical.

For children who simply want an alternative vision correction to wearing glasses, there is no set minimum age, It depends largely on their motivation and maturity level. Many children as young as 8 or 9 are able to wear contact lenses successfully. Some may be keen to try, but find that they are not quite ready, and defer it until early teens. Your Shephard & Akay practitioner will be happy to discuss options with you.

Watch our video on “Malcolm’s Journey of Life”.

Video provided by CooperVision®

There is evidence that fitting children with some types of specialist contact lenses may be very effective in slowing down progression of myopia. For further information see our myopia control page.

Are you new to contact lenses and having difficulty applying and removing your lenses? Watch our videos below on contact lens application and cleaning.

Video provided by ACUVUE®

Video provided by CooperVision®

Johnson and Johnson
Bausch and Lomb


  • “I wouldn’t go anywhere else now. Friendly, attentive staff, and a very thorough eye exam”

    S.E, Shefford
  • “Every time I have gone elsewhere, I have regretted it! Great service and consistent friendly staff”

    Miss N.M, Hitchin
  • “Mr Akay takes time and trouble with my eyes and is always happy to answer any concerns and questions I may have”

    S.H, Luton
  • “Very impressed with the attention to detail and thoroughness of the eye test”

    D.H, Hitchin
  • “By far the best and most comprehensive eye care I have received. Great service and great care.”

    H.W, Hitchin
  • “I would recommend anyone with Keratoconus to visit Shephard and Akay as they are clearly experts in this field.”

  • “If you are looking for a good optician, I highly recommend a visit to Shephard and Akay.”

    Diane, Hitchin
  • “Mr Akay goes the extra mile to ensure that his patients receive the personalised help that they need.”

    I. Talks, Ashwell
  • “Very efficient, helpful staff. I have a petite face and it’s been a joy to find an optician who helps with smaller frames- they are perfect!”

    Dora, St Albans