What are contact lenses?
Contact lenses are medical devices that are used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia. They are placed directly on the eye so they must be fit properly by an eye care professional for safety, comfort and accurate correction.
What are the different types of contact lenses?
Hard or rigid contact lenses – Most hard lenses provide great vision with no distortion. But due to discomfort, most patients prefer to wear soft contact lenses.
Soft contact lenses – These lenses are more comfortable to wear than hard lenses.
Daily disposable lenses are removed every night and thrown out. A fresh new pair is inserted every morning.
Daily-wear lenses are removed every night, cleaned, and stored so they can be used again the next morning. These are disposed at different time intervals depending on the lens type and brand. For example, some are disposed every week, others every 2 weeks or every month or every 3 months.
Extended wear lenses are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be worn day and night. Most extended wear lenses are approved for up to 6 nights of wear. There are some that are approved for up to 30 days of wear. Although approved by the FDA, we do not recommend overnight contact lens wear since it increases your risk of corneal infections and corneal ulcers.
Spherical contact lenses correct nearsightedness and farsightedness to give you clear distance vision.
Toric contact lenses correct astigmatism.
Bifocal contact lenses correct presbyopia so that distance and near vision is clear with the lens.
Why wear contact lenses?
Contact lenses can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia to give you clear vision. Most people choose to wear contacts because they do not want to wear glasses or for convenience. Contact lenses are also preferred over glasses when playing sports or performing certain types of work where glasses may be inconvenient. People with corneal diseases, such as Keratoconus, usually achieve better vision with contact lenses than glasses.
What is a contact lens fitting?
An initial contact lens fitting can take up to 1-2 hours. When you make your appointment, be sure to let the office know that you need a contact lens fitting so that we can make sure enough time has been allotted for you. During your appointment, your vision needs will be assessed and a thorough eye exam will be performed to ensure that your eyes are healthy enough to wear contact lenses. A refraction will be performed to find the correct prescription. Corneas will be measured to check the curvature so we can fit the lenses properly. Trial lenses will be applied to your eyes and the fit assessed. Once the fit and the prescription are fine-tuned, it’s time to teach you to take care of your lenses. Learning to insert and remove your lenses initially can be a frustrating experience but we are there to guide you and support you every step of the way. Once you have demonstrated proper insertion and removal of the contact lens, you will go home with your lenses and try them out. This trial period is very important since you get to try the lens out in the real world and assess your vision and comfort. If the fit, vision and comfort of the lenses are appropriate, then you’ll be given a final prescription for the contact lenses.