Contact lenses are mostly used to correct blurry vision caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These are conditions in which images are not focused properly on the retina (a clear sheet of nerve tissue located in the inner back wall of the eye which functions much like the film of a camera) and, therefore, cannot be relayed clearly to the brain) Contact lenses stick to the tear film that covers the front of the eye, so that each time the eyelid blinks, it passes over the lens and causes it to move slightly. This motion allows fresh tears to flow under the lenses providing necessary lubrication and oxygen to the underlying cornea.
Advancements in contact lens technology offer the potential for successful contact lens wear to many people. Contact lenses not only enhance visual acuity and appearance but also improve performance in visual tasks and sports. Because contact lenses are medical devices placed on the eyes, they require expert fitting and careful instruction, as well as conscientious care and compliance with recommended follow-up examination to maintain the healthy functioning of your eyes. To insure your contact lens success, we would like to familiarize you with our contact lens procedures and policies.
Contact Lens Fitting
The goal of contact lens fitting is to find the most appropriate contact lens for your optimal comfort and vision. An enormous variety of types, styles, materials, sizes, and colors are offered. We are committed to taking the time and making the effort to fit you properly. Although many people need only one fitting session, some require several appointments. In our experience, the extra time, effort and patience are very worthwhile, both for your ultimate satisfaction and the health of your eyes.
What are Some Guidelines for Safe Contact Lens Wear?
Proper wear, care, and handling of contact lenses are essential to promoting healthy eyes. Patients that ignore certain precautions are at risk for developing infections, inflammation, corneal scarring and other potentially sight-threatening conditions. Patients that have contact lens-related eye complications may have to discontinue wearing lenses indefinitely. Serious complications may permanently damage the eyes.
To reduce the likelihood of contact lens complications, simple precautions must be taken:
- Hands should be properly washed with soap and water and dried before handling the contact lenses
- Moisturizing lotions, creams and fragrant soaps should be not be used until after handling contact lenses
- Aerosol sprays should be avoided while wearing contacts
- Make-up should be applied only after inserting the contacts
- Contact lens cleaning solutions should be used only as directed by the manufacturer, when using multi-purpose solution it is important to replace the solution each day, and never "top off" solution or mix brands
- Contact lens cases should be rinsed with multi-purpose solution and air dried daily and the case should be replaced every 2-3 months
- Contact lenses should never be stored in tap water or saliva for even a short period of time; contacts should also never be stored in saline solution, even if it labeled as "sterile"
- It is not recommended that patients swim or use hot tubs while wearing contact lenses because even if treated with chloride water contains microorganisms that can cause serious eye infections
- Prescription and over-the-counter eye drops should not be used when wearing contact lenses unless they are specifically approved for such use
- Contact lenses should be removed at least one hour before sleep
Patients should immediately remove their contact lenses and see their eye doctor if the eye becomes red, painful, irritated or if the vision becomes blurry. The lenses should not be re-inserted until the eye doctor has determined that it is safe to do so. It is important that all contact lens wearers have an up-to-date pair of glasses in the event that they will not be able to wear their contacts for a period of time.
Types of Contact Lenses
People choose soft lenses because they conform to the shape of the eye. Thin and gel-like, they stay in place well. They are a perfect choice if you are on the go and live an active lifestyle. They correct for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. For the people who need both distance and near in their contacts, bi-focal contacts to take care of this need. They come in daily wear soft, two-week soft, monthly soft, extended wear soft lenses and rigid gas permeable (RGP). Your contact lens specialist will make recommendations on which of these lens options would best fit you individual needs.
Soft contact lenses come in various types
- Daily wear. Daily wear soft contact lenses are typically the least expensive option. You wear the lenses during the day, and remove them each night to be cleaned and disinfected. How long you can use a single pair of daily wear lenses varies depending on the manufacturer.
- Extended wear. You can wear extended wear soft contact lenses while you sleep, but they must be removed for cleaning and disinfecting at least once a week. It's still important to be cautious with overnight use, though, since it increases the risk of eye infections — even if the lenses have been approved for extended wear.
- Disposable. Disposable soft contact lenses are generally the most expensive option. You wear the lenses during the day and remove them at night. They don't need to be cleaned or disinfected. You simply use them for the recommended timeframe — such as daily, weekly or monthly — and then discard them. You might consider disposable lenses if you wear contacts only occasionally, you can't tolerate disinfecting solution or you place a premium on convenience.
What are multifocal contact lenses?
Multifocal contact lenses are contact lenses with multiple prescriptions all in one lens. There is typically a prescription for very close objects: one prescription for normal objects viewed at a distance, and then prescriptions for intermediate distances. This setup helps people with presbyopia correct age-related vision problems where the eye can no longer focus on objects up close.
What are Toric contact lenses?
This type of lens is used to correct astigmatism, a condition in which vision is blurred because of an irregularly shaped cornea or lens inside the eye. They are usually more expensive than other contact lenses.
What are Colored contact lenses?
Colored contacts can dramatically change the color of your eyes — making even the brownest eyes look blue or green, for instance — or enhance your natural color. They can be worn for purely cosmetic purposes or to also correct vision.