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In order to be fit into contact lenses, a comprehensive eye exam must be performed first. This is necessary to determine your current prescription and overall eye health. As long as no issues are present that interfere with contact lens wear, a contact lens fit will follow.
During the contact lens fitting, the doctor will determine which lens matches your personal needs. Just as not one shoe size fits all feet, one contact lens does not fit all eyes. A lens that does not fit properly may cause discomfort or even damage to your eye, so it is important that the proper measurements are taken.
After the measurements have been taken and the type of lens is decided, diagnostic lenses will be inserted and your doctor will evaluate how those lenses fit your eyes. If everything looks and feels good and vision is clear, you will receive training and instructions on how to care for your lenses. You will then be able to wear the lenses home.
This visit also confirms the safety and fit of your lenses. At this time, it is important that you report any problems or concerns you have noticed with the lenses. If everything seems to be going well, the doctor will write you a contact lens prescription and order a supply of lenses. Regardless of how often or long you wear your contact lenses, it is essential that you have your eyes examined once every year to ensure the lenses are not causing harm to your eyes.
There are more convenient and healthy contact lenses choices today than ever before. No matter what visual condition that you have, it can most likely be corrected with a variety of specialty lenses for each individual vision need.
Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses
Bifocal glasses are not desirable to all patients. If you need correction for presbyopia, you may have contact lens options.
These lenses are designed to maintain good vision when you reach your 40s. Around this age, you may notice that when you read something at near, you need to move that material further away from you to see clearly. This condition is called "presbyopia”. Presbyopia can be corrected with bifocal and multifocal contact lenses.
What is the difference between Bifocals and Multifocals?
Bifocal contact lenses, like bifocal glasses, have two powers-one for seeing far away and one for seeing up close. Multifocal contacts are more like progressive glasses in that they have a range of powers for seeing up close, far away, and everywhere in between.
Will multifocal contact lenses work for me?
Most people who try multifocal contacts are very happy with them. However, some compromises may be necessary when you decide to wear this type of lens. Some examples of compromises may be troubles with glare at night, not being able to see very small print, or your distance vision may not seem as clear as it used to.
In some cases, monovision may be a better solution. In monovision, you wear a single vision lens in one eye for distance and a lens in your other eye for near vision.
To determine which contact lens is best for you, call our office to set up a contact lens examination.
Gas-Permeable (GP) Contact Lenses:
These lenses are not as well-known as soft lenses, nor are they as popular. However, they do offer the advantages of durability, crisp vision, and high oxygen availability.
These lenses are made of silicone-containing compounds that allow oxygen to pass through the lens and into the eye. Although these lenses are not as popular as soft lenses, they do offer a few advantages:
GP lenses allow your eyes to "breathe” better- GP’s allow more oxygen to reach the surface of the eye reducing the risk of problems that a lack of oxygen may cause.
GP lenses provide sharper vision- These lenses are custom made to a smooth surface and maintain their shape on the eye. They also offer are a more stable and accurate correction of astigmatism.
GP lenses last longer- GP lenses are rigid, so you do not have to worry about ripping or tearing them. They do not need to be replaced as frequently and are easier to keep clean. With proper care, GP lenses can last one year or longer.
The downside of GP contact lenses:
Need for adaptation- unlike soft lenses that are comfortable right away, it may take a few weeks before you can wear GP lenses comfortably all day. You may only be able to wear GPs for only a few hours a day until your eye adapts to them. If you can get through the first two days, you may be very surprised at how comfortable these lenses can become. Many people who have switched from soft to GP lenses say that GPs are more comfortable and their vision clearer in the long run.
Inability to wear part-time- to fully adapt and stay comfortable, these lenses must be worn every day. If you stop wearing them for several days, you will become more aware of the lens on your eyes and need to re-adapt.
Increased possibility of dislodging-These lenses are smaller and therefore, may be dislodged easier from eyes during sports or aggressive rubbing.
Vulnerability to sand and dust-GP lenses do not fit your eye like soft lenses, so it is possible for sand or dust to get under the lenses (Minimize this risk by wearing sunglasses outdoors).
Higher lens replacement costs-Because GPs are custom made to the shape of your eye, it makes them more expensive to replace if you lose them. Also, it can take up to one week to receive the replaced lens, so it may be a good idea to purchase a spare pair to avoid the inconvenience of being without lenses.
Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism:
The once true statement, "I can’t wear contacts; I have astigmatism” is now a myth!
Astigmatism is a common condition where the eye is not perfectly round, but more egg-shaped. For this condition, you will need a special design of contacts called toric lenses in order to have clear vision.
Toric lenses have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the eye’s astigmatism. Additionally, they have specific elements embedded within the lens allowing the lens to stay properly aligned and in place.
"Hard-to-Fit” Contact Lens Patients
Astigmatism, presbyopia, keratoconus, and dry eyes do not need to be a barrier to contact lens wear, but they do need to require more time so patience is a necessity.
For the latter conditions, contact lens wear may be difficult. However, difficult does not mean impossible. Fitting these patients in lenses will generally take more time than a regular contact lens fitting. They may require a series of office visits and multiple diagnostic lenses before the final contact lens prescription can be determined. Also, these specialty lenses are usually more costly than regular soft contact lenses as is the lens fitting fee. Call our office for more details.
Hybrid lenses (Synergeyes)
Dr. Foster also does daily and monthly options in all the spherical, toric and multifocal soft lenses.