Contact Lenses

>>Contact Lenses
Contact Lenses 2019-03-05T03:33:56-07:00

The Family Eye Clinic offers several types of contact lenses, each one specifically suited to a particular condition or correction.

Soft Lenses

Soft lenses are made from gel-like, water-containing plastics called hydrogels. These lenses are very thin and pliable, and conform to the front surface of the eye.

Silicon hydrogel lenses are an advanced type of soft contact lens that is more porous than regular hydrogel lenses, and allow even more oxygen to reach the cornea.

Soft lenses may be used for daily wear (to be removed every night) or extended wear (can be worn for up to seven days and nights before removal and replacement).

While every patient is different, Dr. David does not normally recommend extended wear lenses, because they triple the odds of contracting corneal ulcers compared with daily-wear users. (Even daily-wear users should exercise extreme care in the handling of their lenses, because statistically they are five times more likely to contract corneal ulcers than people who do not wear contact lenses.)

Daily-wear patients who follow Dr. David’s recommendations for the care and handling of their lenses significantly reduce the risk of contracting infection. To ensure the health of your eyes, always…

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts.
  • Use only a recommended saline solution to rinse and store your contacts.
  • Remove your contacts every night.
  • Change your lenses within the timeframe recommended.

Gas-Permeable Lenses

Gas permeable lenses, also called GP or RGP lenses, are rigid but porous, allowing oxygen to pass through them. Because they are oxygen-permeable, this type of lens can be fit to conform more closely to the eye than other types of lenses, making them more comfortable and providing sharper vision. (They are especially recommended for astigmatism.) The adjustment period for this type of lens is often longer, but beyond that most people find that the gas-permeable lenses are just as comfortable as hydrogel lenses.

Hybrid Lenses

Hybrid contact lenses are designed to provide wearing comfort that rivals soft or silicone hydrogel lenses, combined with the crystal-clear optics of gas permeable lenses. Hybrid lenses have a rigid gas-permeable central zone, surrounded by a “skirt” of hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. Despite these features, only a small percentage of people in the U.S. wear hybrid contact lenses, perhaps because they are more difficult to fit and are more expensive to replace than soft and silicone hydrogel lenses.

Contact Lens Designs

Spherical contact lenses have the same lens power throughout the entire optical part of the lens to correct myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).

Toric soft contact lenses have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct astigmatism as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Multifocal contact lenses (including bifocal contacts) contain different power zones for near and far vision to correct presbyopia as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Some multifocal lenses also can correct astigmatism.

Cosmetic contact lenses include color contacts designed to change or intensify your eye color. Halloween, theatrical and other special-effect contacts also are considered cosmetic lenses. A contact lens prescription is required for cosmetic contacts even if you have no refractive errors that need correction.

All of these lenses can be custom made for hard-to-fit eyes. Other lens designs also are available — including lenses fabricated for use in special situations, such as correcting for keratoconus.

New and  Special-Purpose Contact Lenses

Bifocal contacts for astigmatism. These are advanced soft contacts that correct both presbyopia and astigmatism, so you can remain glasses-free after age 40 even if you have astigmatism.

Photochromic Contact Lenses.  Are you light-sensitive? Do you tend to squint, shield your eyes or dim your lamps in bright light?

Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology. This is a new contact lens that darkens quickly in bright light both indoors and outdoors — turning clear again in dimmer light. Similar to photochromic eyeglass lenses, the Oasys contact lens filters blue light and UV rays, for more comfort in harsh light and more protection against the harmful effects of these rays.

According to manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Vision, the Oasys lens took more than a decade to develop and underwent several clinical trials involving more than 1,000 patients. The lens is designed for two-week replacement and slated for launch later this year.

Contacts for dry eyes. Are your contacts uncomfortably dry? Certain soft contact lenses are specially made to reduce the risk of contact lens-related dry eye symptoms.

Colored lenses.  Many of the types of lenses described above also come in colors that can enhance the natural color of your eyes — that is, make your green eyes even greener, for example. Other colored lenses can totally change the color of your eyes, as in from brown to blue.

Special-effect lenses. Also called theatrical, novelty, or costume lenses, special-effect contacts take coloration one step further to make you look like a cat, a vampire, or another alter-ego of your choice.

Prosthetic lenses. Colored contact lenses also can be used for more medically oriented purposes. Opaque soft lenses called prosthetic contacts can be custom-designed for an eye that has been disfigured by injury or disease to mask the disfigurement and match the appearance of the other, unaffected eye.

Custom lenses. If conventional contact lenses don’t seem to work for you, you might be a candidate for custom contact lenses that are made-to-order for your individual eye shape and visual needs.

Bifocal contacts for astigmatism. These are advanced soft contacts that correct both presbyopia and astigmatism, so you can remain glasses-free after age 40 even if you have astigmatism.

New Photochromic Contact Lens  Are you light-sensitive? Do you tend to squint, shield your eyes or dim your lamps in bright light?

UV-inhibiting lenses. Some soft contact lenses help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can cause cataracts and other eye problems. But because contacts don’t cover your entire eye, you still should wear UV-blocking sunglasses outdoors for the best protection from the sun.

Scleral lenses. Large-diameter gas permeable lenses called scleral contacts are specially designed to treat keratoconus1 and other corneal irregularities, as well as presbyopia2.

1. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision.  Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person’s teens or early 20s.

2. Presbyopia is the normal loss of near focusing ability that occurs with age. Most people begin to notice the effects of presbyopia sometime after age 40, when they start having trouble seeing small print clearly — including text messages on their phone.  You can’t escape presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. Even people who are nearsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.

Myopia control contacts. Special contact lenses are being developed to slow or stop the progression of nearsightedness in children.

Procedures

Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is the fitting of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that you wear overnight. While you are asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (cornea) so you can see clearly the following day after you remove the lenses when you wake up. Ortho-k lenses are prescribed for two purposes:

  1. To correct refractive errors (primarily nearsightedness, but also astigmatism and hyperopia). In some cases, ortho-k also is used to correct presbyopia.
  2. To slow the progression of childhood myopia. (Read more about myopia control.)

Best candidates: those with mild to moderate myopia, those who are not eligible for LASIK surgery

Some soft contact lenses help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can cause cataracts and other eye problems. But because contacts don’t cover your entire eye, you still should wear UV-blocking sunglasses outdoors for the best protection from the sun.

Things You Should Know

Difficult to fit? Not a problem. Dr. David personally fits all our contacts patients, so you know you’ll enjoy the clearest vision and the most comfort.

We also have solutions and accessories — order online, stop by, or give us a call at (509) 334-3300.

Check out Custom Stable Lens – call us to see if they’re a good fit for you.  More information about scleral lenses is available here.

Looking for a more permanent solution? Ask us about intra-eye contact lenses.