There are many considerations to take into account when it comes to deciding whether or not to wear contact lenses. First, the eye doctor needs to figure out if the patient is a good candidate for contact lenses, because certain eye conditions can make wearing them uncomfortable. The patient needs to figure out if their lifestyle permits them to wear contact lenses and, if so, which contact lenses are best for them.
In today’s article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about contact lenses. We’ll discuss the different kinds of contact lenses available and their features, and we’ll also talk about the factors that may cause problems with wearing contact lenses.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are made from hydrogels, which are gel-like, water-containing plastics. This lens type is very thin and pliable ,and easily conforms to the front surface of the eye. Many patients choose to wear soft contact lenses because they’re comfortable. Soft contact lenses also pass oxygen easily to the cornea. During your eye exams, we’ll help you figure out if soft lenses are right for you.
Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
Gas permeable contact lenses are rigid, but still allow oxygen to pass through them. They’re more durable, resistant to debris build-up and tend to provide clearer vision. This makes gas permeable contact lenses a good choice for patients suffering from astigmatism. Other advantages include their ease of use and resistance to tearing.
Gas permeable contact lenses are initially less comfortable than soft contact lenses. A patient usually takes a few weeks for their eyes to get used to wearing them. However, with our experience with contact lenses and eyeglasses, we’ve found that once patients are used to wearing GP lenses, they’ll find them as comfortable as soft contact lenses.
Extended Wear Contact Lenses
Extended wear contact lenses are perfect for patients who don’t like to change their contact lenses frequently. This type of contact lens is available for continuous or overnight wear. The period can range from a week to 30 days. Most extended wear contact lenses are soft lenses that allow the cornea to get plenty of oxygen. However, rigid gas permeable lenses are also available.
Before prescribing these contact lenses, your optometrist will evaluate your tolerance for wearing overnight lenses. This is because sleeping while wearing contact lenses can be associated with eye health concerns, so it’s not appropriate for all patients.
Disposable Contact Lenses
Most contact lenses need to be replaced eventually to prevent the build-up of lens deposits and to reduce the risk of contamination. The FDA defines disposable contact lenses as those that are worn once and then discarded.
There are also disposable soft contact lenses that have a frequent replacement schedule. These lenses may be worn from seven to thirty days before they should be thrown away. However, having plenty of experience with eyeglasses and contact lenses, we have to remind readers that even these kinds of contact lenses need to be removed, cleaned and disinfected each night.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) lenses are specially-designed, rigid, gas permeable contact lenses that can change the curvature of the cornea temporarily. You don’t wear these lenses while you’re awake. Instead, you put them in before you go to bed and then remove them when you wake up. After removing the contact lenses, you’ll notice that your vision is clearer.
These contact lenses work by gently reshaping the cornea as the patient sleeps. This effect is not permanent, and the amount if time it lasts varies for each patient. You could experience clear vision the whole day, or your vision might slowly diminish as the day goes on. Ortho-k lenses are prescribed for wearing at least eight hours each night, and are primarily prescribed for myopia correction.
Decorative Contact Lenses
Cosmetic or decorative contact lenses are designed to only change the appearance of the eye. They require a prescription. However, these lenses are still regulated by the FDA because they carry the same risks that corrective lenses do. You should talk to an optometrist to see if you can wear decorative contact lenses.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
Finally, hybrid contact lenses are specialized lenses that have soft lens peripheries and gas permeable centers. They’re designed to provide the comfort of soft contact lenses together with the clear and crisp vision of rigid permeable lenses. In addition, foreign debris does not get under the soft lens periphery, unlike with a regular soft lens. Hybrid contact lenses have been found to be particularly good for some patients who have keratoconus. Since these lenses are more difficult to fit, you’ll need an eye doctor to figure out if this option is right for you.
Determining If Contact Lenses Will Work For You
You’ll need an eye exam to see if contact lenses are a good choice for you. Your doctor will consider many factors when prescribing your contact lenses. They’ll check if you have dry eye syndrome and question you about allergies, medications and viral infections. Pregnancy can also cause problems with wearing contact lenses because fluctuating hormones can cause dry eyes.
During your eye exam, your eye care specialist will measure your eye focus and determine your visual acuity. They’ll also evaluate your medical history and the factors listed above. Finally, they’ll map your cornea with a corneal topographer to figure out the curvature of your eye. They’ll use this information to find contact lenses that fit you properly.
Contact lenses are perfect for patients who have an active lifestyle, or for those who find that wearing eyeglasses interferes with their line of work. They’re also good for patients who feel that eyeglasses don’t fit with their self-image or style.
The eye doctors at Progressive Eyecare can help you with all of your vision needs. We prescribe high-quality eyeglasses and contact lenses, perform comprehensive eye exams and provide family eye care. Call us at (702) 744-8005 if you’re in North Las Vegas, (702) 723-4888 if you’re in Boca Park and (702) 357-8202 if you’re in Southwest Las Vegas. We serve patients in North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, and nearby areas in Nevada.