Contact Lenses Exam and Fitting
Contact lenses are medical devices. In other words, they can cause a moderate risk to eye health when used without appropriate physician examination. Contact lens evaluation is necessary for anyone who wishes to wear contacts or continue wearing contact lenses.
Contact lens examination, or contact lens fitting, begins with a thorough eye exam. This will ensure an up-to-date prescription and rule out any pre-existing conditions that may prevent contact lens wear.
Our doctor will require to follow up the initial fitting to see how well your eyes are adjusting to the lenses or make any necessary changes in fitting or materials to provide you with the utmost possible fit. We educate our patients about proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Looking ahead, we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being practiced.
During the contact lens exam, if you are a contact wearer, it will begin by wearing the patient’s current contact lenses. This allows the Doctor to analyze how the eyes are functioning with the current contact fit and prescription being used.
We offer a wide selection of contact lenses such as; daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly disposables, or specialty contact lenses to fit each patients’ needs.
Following the initial adjustment period, many contact lens wearers find their contacts to be extremely comfortable for day-to-day wear, so much, that they do not realize they are wearing them throughout the day!
Soft contact lenses are the most common type of contact lenses. They are made of soft, flexible plastic that allows oxygen to transport the eyes. Conventional soft lenses are used until they fail to provide satisfactory vision, comfort, fit or tissue response, which generally occurs after about 12 months of wear. Conventional soft lenses are worn during the day, and cleaned and stored at night. Usually once a week the lenses must be cleaned using an enzymatic cleaner, which removes protein deposits.
There are some advantages and disadvantages of wearing soft contact lenses. One of the advantages, is that these lenses are very thin and flexible making them extremely comfortable to wear. One of the disadvantages is that soft lenses absorb more of your tears, this will trap more protein deposits from your tears and harbor bacteria. Depending on your prescription, your visual needs and your preferences, the doctor can determine which is lenses are suitable for your eyes.
Disposable contact lenses are soft lenses that can be thrown away every day, weekly, bi-weekly or every four weeks. The are some advantages and disavantages of disposable contacts lenses. Some of the advantages of disposable lenses are that by replacing lenses during shorter intervals, prevents protein and other deposits to build up on the lens surfaces. This reduces the chance of eye health problems. Disposable contacts also reduce the chance of wearing damaged lenses. They are very easy to clean and disinfect and they are available in most prescriptions. Some of the disadvantages of disposable lenses are that most of these lenses are thin, therefore their handling may be difficult. Additionally, they do not correct all visual problems and vision may not be as sharp as with other type of contact lenses (eg. RGP lenses).
For successful wearing of disposable contact lenses, it is recommended to adhere to the lens-wearing schedules. Carefully follow the schedule for discarding your used lenses and make appointments for follow-up care.
Extended wear contact lenses can be soft or gas permeable lenses. Most commonly, worn for overnight or continues wear ranging from one to six nights or up to 30 days straight. There are some advantages and disadvantages of extended wear contact lenses. One of the advantages, is that they are extremely convenient since contact lens wearers do not have to insert, remove and care for lenses on a daily wear basis. One of the disadvantages is that the use of extended wear lenses definitely increases the risk for sight-threatening complications when lenses are worn over night. Extended wear contact lenses require closer monitoring and professional care. Frequent and thorough follow-up care every 3 months is critical in the proper care of an extended wear contact lens wearer.
Tinted contact lenses allows patients to temporarily enhance or transform the appearance of their eyes. Color contact lenses are an appealing option. They provide an appealing way to change up the patients’ appearance. They come in a variety of colors for both light and dark eyes. Tinted contact lenses are available with or without prescription but unfortunately, not all prescriptions are available. These soft lenses are available in conventional, disposable, or frequent replacement types.
Gas permeable (GP) contact lenses, also known as rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, are hard contact lenses made of silicone-containing compounds that allow oxygen to transport through the lens to reach the cornea. GP lenses offer a number of advantages over soft lenses.
Some of the advantages of the GP (compare with soft lenses) are that they provide a better oxygen supply than most soft lenses. Since, they are custom-made to shape on the eye, they hold their shape and move on the eye with each blink. This movement pumps oxygen-containing tears under the lens.
GP lenses last longer. Since they are made of a firm plastic, they do not scratch, rip or tear. They are also easier to keep clean and do not need to be discarded frequently, such as soft lenses. GP contacts have superior optics. Since they are firm, they retain their shape better when you blink, therefore your eyes don’t have to refocus as much. And they are very good for astigmatism or bifocal needs. In addition to their other advantages, new research suggest that GP lenses may slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in some children. GP lenses are also used for orthokeratology, where GP specially designed contacts are worn during sleep to reshape the cornea and improve vision.
Some of the disadvantages of GP lenses (compared to soft lenses) are that they need an adaptation period (short) to fully adapt. Unlike wearing soft lenses that are comfortable right from the start, GP lenses required some time to feel comfortable in the eyes. GP lenses are smaller, then during blinking eyelids will experience initial “lens awareness” but this is temporary, In a few days the lids will gradually adapt so that feeling would go away with each blink. Additionally, because they are smaller than soft lenses, gas permeable lenses can slip off from the eyes during contact sports or if eyes are rub aggressively. GP lenses can have a higher lens replacement costs. Since, GP lenses are custom-made, they come in limited sizes, this makes GP lenses more expensive if you loose them.
For successful GP contact Lens wear, it is recommended to take proper care of your GP contact lenses by following the steps to care after each wearing period. This will increase the comfort, last longer, reduce the risk of eye health problems and keep your lens-wearing experience enjoyable.
Toric lenses are used to correct astigmatism. Toric contact lenses have an elongate shape than standard contacts, and they are available in both gas permeable (GP) and soft types. However, soft toric contacts are much more popular and they provide clear and comfortable vision. Fitting toric lenses is a more complex process than fitting normal contacts. They usually require some trial and error until the Doctor identifies a proper fit. Toric lenses are also available in various wearing schedules, ranging from daily disposable to extended wear.
Bifocal contact lenses work similar to bifocal eyeglasses. These lenses are designed with two distinct segments for different vision powers. One segment for distance vision and the other segment for near vision. This allows bifocal contact lens wearers to see clearly by switching focus from near to far as needed but not completely clear in between. Bifocal contact lenses come in both soft materials and rigid gas permeable (GP) varietie. Some can be worn on a disposable basis. Meaning, contact lenses can be discard at a specified intervals (even daily, in some cases) and replacing them with fresh, new lenses. There are various designs and fitting strategies to suit each candidate who wishes to wear bifocal contact lenses.
Multifocal lenses have multiple powers including bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses all in one contact lens. Multifocal contact lenses have a range of powers that enable multifocal wearers to adjust their focus and see clearly not only at distance and near, but also in between. Multifocal contact lenses come in both soft materials and rigid gas permeable (GP) varieties. They are generally designed in one of two ways, as either simultaneous vision lenses or alternating vision lenses. Both designs, aim to provide clear vision. There are certain factors that our doctor will consider when determining which is the appropriate lens for the patient.
Hard to fit contact lenses are for patients that have not been successful with regular contacts. Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every patient suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult task. This doesn’t mean these patients can not wear contact lenses. It just means patients need to discuss options with their Doctor and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific visual problems.
Some of the most common problems include:
- Corneal scarring; post-corneal transplant
- Dry eye syndrome
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
- Post-LASIK, or other refractive procedure
Scleral contact lenses can be beneficial for several hard-to-fit ocular conditions
These contacts lenses have a large diameter that rest on the “white” part of the eye (sclera) and create a tear-filled reservoir over the cornea. Scleral lenses are designed to treat a variety of eye conditions, many of which do not respond to other forms of treatment.