For many individuals, contact lenses provide many advantages over eyeglasses. People often prefer how they look without glasses for those special occasions or for everyday wear. For the active individual, no more glasses sliding down the nose or fogging up with exercise. The doctors take special care with children who may require contacts for sports, dance, and theater. Individuals with high prescriptions are not bothered by the inherent distortions (optical aberrations) in their spectacle lenses. If you’ve been told that you can’t wear contact lenses, there have been many advances in materials and designs that they now make contact lenses for almost every individual, We carry many brands of contact lenses, which give us flexibility in finding the perfect lens for you and we specialize in the hard-to-fit patient.
Contact Lens Materials
There are three types of materials that contact lenses are made:
- Hard lenses are made from a type of plastic and are virtually obsolete and rarely used.
- Soft lenses are made from gel-like, water-containing plastics, and are most common. They’re a bit larger in size than your colored portion of your eye. There are many different materials which the Doctors will prescribe based on you prescription, eye shape and tear chemistry. Many of the more advanced contacts are made of a material known as “silicone hydrogel” and they are excellent for people who previously suffered from dryness or irritation with the older material soft contact lenses.
- GP lenses, also known as RGP or “oxygen permeable” lenses, are made from rigid, waterless plastics and are especially good for high astigmatism. These lenses are usually about eight millimeters in diameter, which is smaller than the colored portion of the eye. They also help to slow down the progression of nearsightedness or myopia.
Contact Lens Wearing Time
Until 1979, everyone who wore contact lenses removed and cleaned them nightly. The introduction of “extended wear” enabled wearers to sleep in their contacts. Now, two types of lenses are classified by wearing time:
- Daily wear — must be removed nightly
- Extended wear — can be worn overnight, usually for seven days consecutively without removal
Not everyone can wear an extended wear lens and many individuals can’t wear a lens the full approved time allowed by the FDA. Close supervision and a doctor’s evaluation is extremely important for any lenses that are worn on an overnight basis.
Disposal Intervals for Contact Lenses
Even with proper care, contact lenses (especially soft contacts) should be replaced frequently to prevent the build-up of lens deposits and contamination that increase the risk of eye infections. With disposable lenses, care is relatively simple but still very important for successful wear. After discussing your needs and lifestyles, the doctors will make recommendations on the type of lenses that will be suitable for vision and ocular health needs.
There are many options for replacement of contact lenses that offer affordability and excellent eye health.
- Daily disposable lenses — Discard after a single day of wear. These are an excellent choice for those who are frequently travel, maintain active schedules, work in a dusty or less than optimal environment, interested in wearing contacts on an occasional basis, have bothersome allergies, dryness problems or who frequently notice filming or deposits on their contacts.
- Disposable lenses — Discard every two weeks, monthly or sooner; Excellent choice for those that would prefer to wear their contact lenses most of the time.
- Frequent replacement lenses — Discard and replace quarterly
- Traditional (reusable) lenses — Discard and replace every six months or longer
Gas permeable contact lenses are more resistant to lens deposits and don’t need to be discarded as frequently as soft lenses. Often, GP lenses can last a year or longer before they need to be replaced.
Why is there an Expiration Date on My Contacts?
The FDA requires a reasonable expiration date to ensure the health of your eyes. Since the lenses are in direct contact with your eye, there are a number of conditions that may occur that can threaten your vision and ocular health if not found in a timely matter.
We carry many brands of contact lenses, which give us flexibility in finding the right lens for you.
Is your prescription up to date? You can order contacts online going to the Store – call the office the first time to set up your account and either have them delivered to your house or pick up at one of our locations. Rebates on lenses may be available, contact our office for more information.
Contact Lens Designs
Many lens designs are available to correct various types of vision problems:
- Spherical contact lenses are the typical, rounded design of contact lenses, which can correct myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) and are available in virtually all materials and replacement schedules.
- Bifocal or Multifocal contact lenses contain different zones for near and far vision to correct presbyopia (the need for a different distance and reading prescription).
- Monovision/ Modified Monovision is a method where both eyes see but most of the work for reading is done by one eye and the other does most of the work for distance activities. This is a good alternative at times to multifocal lenses and is also used in LASIK surgery for some individuals.
- Orthokeratology lenses are specially designed to reshape the cornea during sleep, providing lens-free daytime wear [more about ortho-k].
- Toric contact lenses correct for astigmatism, as well as for myopia and hyperopia . They are now available in all types of replacement schedules and materials. Numerous advances in product design have improved the fit, vision and comfort. All of these lenses can be custom made for hard-to-fit eyes. Many other additional lens designs are available. Typically these are less common and fabricated for use in special situations, such as correcting for keratoconus.
If I wear contacts can I order colored lenses?
Unless you are wearing the same brand lens from that company, we will require a contact lens visit to determine if it’s safe for you to wear the colored lenses. Contact lenses are not always interchangeable.
More Contact Lens Features
Contacts for Dry Eyes. Are your contacts uncomfortably dry, especially at the end of the day or after computer usage? Certain soft contact lenses are specially made to reduce the risk of contact lens-related dry eye symptoms. Click here for more information about treatment of dry eyes.
Colored Lenses. Many of the types of lenses described above also come in colors that can enhance the natural color of your eyes or totally change the eye’s appearance, as in from brown to blue. They are also available in 1-day disposable materials for that occasional special event or for a new look!
Special-Effect Lenses. Did you ever want cat eyes or your eyes to appear all white like a zombie? Specially tinted contact lenses are available for that costume or whenever you want to psych your friends out.
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, REORDER YOUR CONTACTS ONLINE AND HAVE THEM SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO YOUR HOME. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.
The following articles provide helpful information about Contact Lenses.
- Contact Lenses
- Contact Lenses for Astigmatism
- Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes
- Colored Contacts
- Disposable Contact Lenses
- Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
- Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses
- Special Effect Contact Lenses
- Contact Lens Insertion and Removal Video
- Daily Contact Lens Insertion and Removal Video