Disposable Contact Lenses
Since the late 80’s disposable contact lenses have grown to the number one position for contact lens wear in the U.S. The advantages of disposable lenses include ease of care, little to no cost for replacement of lost or damaged lenses, continual comfort through the wearing cycle, and increased ocular health. Disposable lenses are the healthiest and most cost efficient method for soft contact lens wearers. Complications associated with disposable lenses can in virtually all cases be traced to improper care and lens hygiene. (i.e. lack of proper cleaning and disinfections between wearing times or use of improper solutions). Not all disposable lenses are the same. Lenses differ in material, design, and replacement frequency. Some lenses offer higher oxygen transmission; others are more deposit resistant, while others are better in dry eye conditions.
Disposable lenses are designed to be replaced at varying frequencies depending on the lens material used and the specifics of the individual patient (i.e. tear chemistry, environment, and wearing time). The frequency of lens replacement typically varies from daily disposing to 1, 2, & 4 week disposing and up to 3 or 6 month schedules of replacement. Conventional soft lenses in comparison should generally be replaced at one year intervals.
Single use daily disposable lenses
These contact lenses are the best alternative for many patients. These lenses are worn during waking hours, removed at the end of the day and disposed. They provide the ultimate in convenience and are an excellent choice for part time/occasional contact lens wearers.
Continuous Wear Contact Lenses
Some of the newest contact lens materials dramatically increase the level of oxygen transmission in order to allow for safe overnight wearing of contacts for up to one month in some patients. These lenses recently received FDA approval for 30 days of continuous wear. These lens are available as disposable lenses so that once they are removed they are discarded on a monthly basis.
Contact Lens Correction of Astigmatism
For years people were told that they could not wear soft contact lenses because they had astigmatism. Now more than ever, that is not the case. At The Vision Care Center we have provided excellent results for our patients with low to even high degrees of astigmatism. Our contact lens specialists successfully fit not only astigmatic soft lenses but also monovision soft lenses for patients who are presbyopic (require additional correction for near vision). Correction of astigmatism is possible with both soft and rigid gas permeable lens designs depending on the individual patient. The use of contemporary toric or astigmatic lens designs provides superb vision, great comfort, and uncompromised eye health. Disposable astigmatic lenses offer added comfort and convenience to the mix.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP’s) have enjoyed gaining popularity over the past 20 years. New developments in designs and materials have made these lenses more comfortable and healthier to wear than ever before. The advantages of RGP’s over soft lenses include higher levels of oxygen transmission to the cornea, greater durability and deposit resistance and therefore greater life expectancy, unmatched optical/vision performance, and the potential to control or reduce the progression of nearsightedness in many individuals. RGP’s have been found to be the design of choice for bifocal/multifocal lenses due to their sharp optics as well as for young individuals who are progressing in myopia (nearsightedness).
Multifocal/Bifocal Contact Lens Options
Patients requiring both a reading correction and a distance correction in contact lenses are now able to achieve excellent vision. Bifocal or more specifically, multifocal contact lenses are available in many types of contact lenses. Improvements in lens technology have created lenses that provide far improved visual results compared to older technology. The wide array of multifocal lens designs on the market gives us options in soft, rigid gas permeable materials as well as disposable for those just starting to need reading prescriptions up to those who have stronger correction requirements.
Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Colored contact lenses can enhance or change the appearance or your natural eye color. Color options include tints that enhance light eyes and special colors for dark eyes. The latest in color technology for dark eyes use a multilayer color core along with a special translucent layer for intense realistic color. Some of the shades available are Deep Green, Soft Green, Deep Blue, Soft Blue, Soft Amber, Violet and Grey. Many patients elect to have some of their contacts cosmetically colored so they might choose to wear their colored contacts on special occasions. However some colored lenses have been reported to limit peripheral vision to some degree and should be worn with caution especially in dark environments while driving.
Therapeutic Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are often needed to help in the treatment of diseased eyes, such as those following corneal trauma, surgery, or certain corneal diseases (keratoconus, basement membrane diseases, etc.). Patients are continually referred to The Vision Care Center for therapeutic contact lens care. A wide variety of lens designs are used for this purpose including rigid gas permeables, cosmetic tinted and opaque soft lenses, and bandage soft lenses. Close monitoring of patients in need of therapeutic contact lenses is critical since these lenses are being fit on compromised corneas. When fit and monitored properly, therapeutic contact lenses can make a world of difference in the life of a patient in need.
Keratoconus and Scleral Contact Lens Options
Keratoconus is a progressive degeneration of the cornea characterized by thinning, steepening, and advanced distortion of the corneal surface. The disease results in gradual loss of clear vision with progressive distortion of images. The first line of treatment for keratoconus is the use of contact lenses to mask the surface distortion. Contact lenses can provide more-improved correction vision in comparison to glasses. A newer option today is the scleral or semi-scleral contact lens. Scleral or semi-scleral contact lenses are large diameter gas permeable lenses that rest on the white sclera of the eye and vault the cornea. These larger contact lenses are often used in moderate and severe cases of cornea irregularity interacting less with each lid blink and improving their centration and comfort.