Fitting a contact lens includes evaluating the eye health, vision, comfort, and alignment, both in our office and in your own daily environment. We believe that a person should use the best contact lens available for their eyes. There are hundreds of different types of contact lenses available in the market today. Each person is unique in their contact lens demands due to different wearing schedules, job requirements, oxygen needs, prescription, and eye health.
Silicone Hydrogel Lenses
A new generation of “super-permeable” contact lenses can transmit unprecedented amounts of oxygen to your cornea and, in some cases, enable 30 consecutive days of wear without removal. Silicone hydrogel contact lenses represent a breakthrough over traditional hydrogel soft contact lenses, because silicone lets so much oxygen (essential for a healthy cornea) to pass through. There are several different types of silicone hydrogels, some which target to help dryness and discomfort.
Perhaps the most convenient lens on the market, this lens is worn for a single use. This eliminates cleaning, solutions, and solution related reactions. Since a brand new lens is used for each wear, problems from infection, allergy, and protein build-up are virtually eliminated.
Monthly and Bi-Weekly Disposable
This wearing mode offers a nice balance between changing lenses to keep them clean and cost effectiveness. This is the most common modality worn.
This is the traditional type of lens that is kept for one to two years, depending on the condition of the lens. This type of lens is usually recommended for patients with unique or unusual prescriptions. The lens is removed each night and cleaned for use the next day. More thorough cleaning is usually needed to ensure comfortable healthy lenses.
Astigmatism (Toric) Lenses
These soft contact lenses correct for nearsightedness or farsightedness along with astigmatism. These lenses have been greatly improved over the last few years with advances in lathing and molding technology, so even if a person has been told they cannot wear contacts in the past, it is possible now. They are available in bi-weekly, monthly, or conventional wearing modalities.
Extended (Continuous) Wear Lenses
Extended wear refers to a lens that has been approved as safe and healthy to sleep in. Although this modality has not been recommended by optometrists over the last ten years or so, new lens materials have made this a safe option again. Sleeping in lenses in the past has reduced the amount of oxygen that gets to the cornea resulting in decreased corneal health and increased risk of infection. The new material, called “silicone hydrogel”, is up tot eight times more permeable to oxygen than any other contact lens. It has approval to wear for 30 days continuously. This may not be for everybody, and routine follow-up is needed to ensure good eye health.
Bifocal / Progressive Contact Lenses
This is a contact lens that has two or more focal distances. It is generally used for patients who have difficulty focusing to read when they are wearing their contacts. This usually occurs in the early to mid forties. The lens has a “simultaneous design”, which means that a person is looking through the near and distance portion of the lens at all times. This makes it unnecessary to look down to use the reading optics. These lenses are available in daily, bi-weekly, monthly, or conventional modalities.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
These lenses are made from a more rigid material known as silicon acrylate. They correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and are available as a bifocal. They give great vision, are durable, and are healthy for the eye. Adaptation time is longer for gas permeable lenses, which makes them better for full time use, instead of occasional use.