Contact Lens Options for Your Vision
What is a contact lens?
Simply put, a contact lenses is a plastic covering for the front of the eye which applies your glasses prescription directly to the eye. Contact lenses come in multiple options and provide correction for many visual disorders. The two most common types are soft disposable lenses and rigid gas permeable lenses. Recent advancements in both types of lenses have made it possible to correct much more complex refractive errors (glasses needs).
Who Is a Good Candidate for Contact Lens Wear?
- a healthy cornea and the physical ability to insert and remove contact lenses.
- an interest in not wearing glasses or changing their eye color.
- realistic expectations of the vision that the contact lenses will offer them.
- post LASIK blur.
- Keratoconus or other disorders which make glasses of minimal use.
Who Should Not Wear Contact Lenses?
- a history of corneal ulcers or infection
- severe eye allergy
- dry eyes
- a history of contact lens intolerance.
- physical inability to insert or remove contact lenses
- a history of contact lens non-compliance
What Vision Problems Can Be Solved with Contact Lenses?
Myopia: Simple myopia or nearsightedness (inability to see distance) is the most common contact lens patient. There are many disposable contact lens options for full time or part time wear. Single use (wear once and throw away) are the most common type.
Hyperopia: There are many disposable contact lens options for full time or part time wear. Single use (wear once and throw away) are the most common type.
Astigmatism: Astigmatism always complicates contact lens wear. Contact lenses for astigmatism have two powers within the lens and are weight ballasted to keep them straight on the eye. These are called a Toric Lens and they come in multiple disposable and single use options.
Presbyopia: Options for contact lenses to help us see up close past the age of forty are more challenging as there is always a balancing act between good distance and good near vision. Options include mono-vision which involves one eye for near and one eye for distance or multifocal contact lenses which have areas of distance and near within each contact lens.
Keratoconus: is always challenging but luckily there are several options available. Soft lenses usually will not give good vision in patients with keratoconus. Rigid Gas Permeable lens have always been the lens of choice but comfort and variable vision issues have been a problem. New Scleral lenes which cover the entire cornea have made good vision with keratoconus much more attainable. These lenses cover the entire front of the eye and give it a new optical surface. Complete Family Eyecare specializes in keratoconus contact lens services.
Contact Lenses to Change Eye Color: There are several colored contact lens options available however they only correct for simple nearsightedness or farsightedness, not astigmatism or presbyopia.
Are contact lenses expensive?
Cost depends on the type of prescription. Simple myopia and hyperopia are usually less expensive whereas astigmatism and presbyopia prescriptions can be more costly. Keratoconus is the most expensive in lens cost and contact lens services costs.
What is a Good Age to Start Wearing Contact Lenses?
That depends on the maturity and responsibility level of the patient and that is best decided by the parent. Used improperly, contact lenses will hurt you. Some patients are ready for contact lens wear when they are ten years old and some will never be ready!
Can Contact Lenses Be Dangerous?
Used correctly and following the FDA guidelines – contact lenses are completely safe. Wearing contact lenses overnight or wearing them past their recommended disposal time can cause vision threatening complications.
Why Are Contact Lens Fees Not Included with My Eye Exam?
Your “routine eye examination” generates your glasses prescription and your eye health status only. Usually your insurance will cover this service. A contact lens “fitting” or as we prefer to call “contact lens services” are not generally covered by your insurance. Contact lens services involve evaluating the patient’s glasses prescription for contact lens compatibility and comparing that to what the contact lens manufacturers offer. The doctor must then choose the right contact lens for the patient and make sure the contact lens is safely positioned on the eye. Some contact lens services can be easy and some can be very difficult requiring multiple visits.