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Contact Lenses

Types of Contact Lenses

Contact LensesMany types of contact lenses are available. The type of contacts you use depends on your particular situation. Your eye doctor will be able to help you choose from the following types of lenses.

PMMA lenses

Rigid or "hard" contacts were the first lenses; they were developed in the1960's. Rigid lenses are the least comfortable type of contacts and are not really used anymore. However, some people still prefer them for their durability and lower cost.

Gas-permeable lenses

These lenses are also known as "RGPs". They are newer rigid or "hard" lenses made of plastics combined with other materials, which allow oxygen in the air to pass directly through the lens. For this reason, theyare called "gas permeable."

Soft contact lenses

These lenses are made of plastic materials that incorporate water. The water makes them soft and flexible, as well as allowing oxygen to reach the cornea. More than 75% of contact lens wearers in the United States use soft lenses.

  • Extended wear contact lenses: made of material designed to last 2-4 weeks.
  • Daily disposable lenses: although generally more expensive, carry a lower infection risk.
  • Toric contact lenses: correct moderate astigmatism. They are available in both gas permeable and soft materials.
  • Generally, contacts should be removed at bedtime due to risk of infection and risk of contact lens intolerance.

Contact Lens Fitting and Dispensing

There are contact lenses that correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism and one-size does not fit all.The contact lens fit is to determine what contact lens would work best for your prescription and the shape of your eye. Every person’s eye is shaped differently, so it is very important that the physician place a contact lens on the eye and check to see that it fits correctly on the eye. Our team can also recommend new options that are available in soft and rigid lenses for presbyopia.

What is the Cost?

When comparing the price of contact lenses, it's important to consider what services are included. Does the fitting include a thorough eye examination and follow-up? Can you exchange lenses during the initial fitting, and is insurance for lost lenses available? If you need treatment for an eye condition not directly related to the contact lenses, such as inflamed eyelids or dry eyes, there may be additional charges. If you are interested in a contact lens fit with our office, please call the closest location and speak with a patient representative.

What Are the Risks?

Rigid gas-permeable lenses and soft extended-wear contacts are the most likely to have protein build-up and causes lens-related allergies. Protein build-up results in discomfort, blurring and intolerance to the lenses. Daily-wear lenses should never be worn as extended-wear lenses. Misuse can lead to temporary and even permanent damage to the cornea. People who wear any type of lens overnight have a greater chance of developing infections of the cornea. These infections are often due to poor cleaning and lens care. Improper over wearing of contact lenses can result in intolerance, leading to the inability to wear contact lenses.

Who Should NOT Wear Contact Lenses?

Most people who need vision correction can wear contact lenses, but there are some exceptions. Some of the conditions that might keep you from wearing contact lenses are: frequent eye infections, severe allergies, dry eye (improper tear film), a work environment that is very dusty or dirty and inability to handle and care for the lenses properly.

Are Contacts For You?

Whether or not contact lenses are a good choice for you depends on:

  • individual needs and expectations
  • patience and motivation during the initial adjustment period to contact lens wear.
  • adhering to contact lens guidelines for wear, disinfecting and cleaning
  • diagnosis and treatment of conditions that may prevent contact lens wear

How Do You Care For Them?

  • Contact lenses must be properly cleaned and disinfected when you remove them to kill germs and prevent infections
  • At the time you insert your contact lenses, you should thoroughly rinse the case with warm water and allow it to dry.
  • Do not put your lens in your mouth and then in your eye
  • Do not use homemade cleaning solutions, they have been linked to serious eye infections
  • Do not attempt to sterilize disposable lenses - throw them away
  • Do not mix different brands of solutions
  • Any eye drops, even nonprescription ones, can interact with all types of contact lenses. Use the brand of solution prescribed by our doctor or check with the doctor before changing brands

Wear Your Lenses Properly

  • Wash your hands with soap prior to handling contact lenses or touching your eye
  • Do not share your lenses with someone else
  • Do not take your lenses in and out repeatedly throughout the day
  • Wear lenses on the schedule prescribed by your doctor
  • Dispose of your lenses at the interval prescribed by your doctor

Call Your Doctor When You Notice These Symptoms

  • Your eye is painful
  • Your eye is red for more than two days
  • You have discharge from your eye
  • Your eye feels scratchy
  • Your vision becomes blurred