Our practice has a full range of contact lens services. Ask the doctor if you’re curious about contact lenses and which ones might be right for you. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and help you try contacts so that you can have the added functionality and flexibility that they offer.
Read on for more information on all of our contact lens services!
Contact Lens Exam
Just like one shoe size doesn’t fit all, one contact lens size doesn’t fit all. If the curvature of a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your eye’s shape, you could experience discomfort or even eye damage. Because of this, the contact lens exam includes elements besides those of the 10 Point Comprehensive Examination. Additional portions of a contact lens fitting may include:
Measurement of your eye’s surface and curvature: An instrument called a keratometer will be used to measure the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea). These measurements help the doctor determine the proper curve and size for your contact lenses.
Tear film evaluation: Contact lens fittings may also include a tear film evaluation. Your eye’s moisture content may be evaluated by placing fluorescein dye in your eye through eye drops, and then evaluating how long it takes for the dye to be washed away by your eye’s tears. If your eyes don’t produce enough moisture and you have severe dry eye, contact lenses may not be right for you. Additionally, certain contact lenses such as those made of silicone hydrogel material may work better for eyes that are dry.
Evaluation of your eye’s surface and contact lens fit: The health of your cornea will also be evaluated using a biomicroscope. This lighted instrument with magnification will provide detailed information about your eye’s surface as a baseline for the doctor to evaluate any future changes to your eyes related to contact lens wear. The biomicroscope can also be used to evaluate the fit of a diagnostic pair of lenses, because it allows the doctor to observe alignment of the lens as it rests on the surface of your eye and how much the lens moves after each blink to make sure that the fit is correct.
After finding a contact lens that fits properly, is comfortable for you, and provides good vision, the doctor will write a contact lens prescription. This prescription will designate contact lens power and a shape matching the curvature of your eye (base curve).
It typically takes about two office visits to complete the contact lens fitting. After that, your eyes will need to be examined once annually so that the doctor can monitor the health of your eyes. A few patients may need contact lens progress evaluations prior to the annual visit.
Daily Disposable Contacts
The more frequently you replace your contact lenses, the healthier and more comfortable your eyes can be!
Protein, calcium, lipids and other substances found naturally in your tears can build up on your lenses. These deposits make your contacts less comfortable than when they were new, and can also make your eyes more prone to infection.
Of course, lenses can be cleaned, but cleaning is not 100% effective. Some deposits will remain and increase over time.
Multi Focal Contact Lenses
Once we reach our mid-40s, presbyopia – the normal, age-related loss of flexibility of the lens inside our eye – makes it difficult for us to focus on near objects. In the past, reading glasses were the only option available to contact lens wearers who wanted to read a menu or do other everyday tasks that require good near vision.
But today, a number of multifocal contact lens options are available for you to consider. Multifocal contact lenses offer the best of both worlds: no glasses, along with good near and distance vision.
Toric Contact Lenses
Have you been told you can’t wear soft contact lenses because you have astigmatism? Or were you told that contact lenses for astigmatism – called “toric” contacts – didn’t come in soft disposable materials?
All that was once true, but not today. Unless you have an especially complex prescription, your astigmatism can probably be corrected with soft contacts, and you have many options.
What Are Toric Contact Lenses?
Toric contact lenses are made from the same materials as regular (“spherical”) contact lenses, so they can be either soft or gas permeable. The difference is in the design of the lens.
Toric lenses have two powers in them, created with curvatures at different angles. There’s also a mechanism to keep the contact lens relatively stable on the eye when you blink or look around. To provide crisp vision, toric contact lenses cannot rotate on your eye.
Toric Contact Lens Cost
Properly fitting a toric lens takes more of your the doctor’s time and requires more expertise than regular contacts. Consequently you can expect that a fitting for torics will cost slightly more than a regular contact lens fitting. The lenses themselves also cost slightly more than spherical lenses.
Soft or Rigid Gas Permeable?
A small percentage of patients will find that they prefer rigid gas permeable lenses over soft contacts. Because rigid lenses retain their shape on the cornea better than soft lenses, they tend to provide crisper vision to people who have astigmatism. However, this degree of difference in crispness is not noticeable for most contact lens wearers.
Many brands of soft toric lenses are available today, so your eyecare practitioner can choose the brand with the best characteristics for your particular eyes. Torics are available as frequent replacement, disposable and even daily disposable lenses. Talk with your doctor to see if toric contact lenses are right for you!