Soft Contact Lenses (SCL)
This type of contact lens is relatively soft and flexible, which allows it to fit over the entire surface of the cornea. There have been many advances in technology and materials in the past few years, making contact lens wear healthier for the eye and more comfortable for the patient. Advantages of this type of lens include disposability, shorter adaptation time, and the ability to enhance or change eye color.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP)
These lenses are relatively smaller in size and are less flexible than a soft contact lens. This type of lens offers high optical quality, superior ocular health, easy care regimen, and durability.
Bifocal Contact Lenses
There are both soft contact lens bifocal designs and rigid gas permeable lens design. Some lenses contain a visible segment area for near viewing, while others incorporate the progressive or no-line design. Selection is based upon the type of lens which will provide the patient with stable and comfortable vision specific to his or her needs.
Correction of Astigmatism
Usually arises when the cornea has two different curvatures which focus light at two different places on the retina. Correction is needed to focus those two points of light into one sharp image. Toric soft contact lenses, as well as rigid gas permeable lenses can be used to correct for this type of refractive error. Recent technological breakthroughs have made these lenses desirable by previously unsuccessful astigmatism contact lens wearers.
Correction for Presbyopia
As the eye ages, it slowly loses the ability to “auto focus,” patients may have symptoms of headaches, eye strain, difficulty reading, and holding material further to read. Patients who are becoming presbyopic may want to consider the use of contact lenses (SCL or RGP) instead of spectacles. There are several management strategies that can be used in the correction of presbyopia.
The most common type of correction for presbyopia with contact lenses involves two different lenses. One eye is focused for distance viewing and the other eye is focused for near viewing.
The amount of time a lens is worn each day and the frequency with which it is replaced is dependent upon many factors, such as doctor’s recommendations, ocular health of the eye, patient convenience and compliance with lens care regimen. Realistic patient expectations about lens performance and the maintenance of good ocular health are among the primary goals for successful contact lens wear.
With this schedule, the lenses are worn during the day and then removed at night. After removal, the lenses are cleaned, disinfected, and stored prior to re-insertion the following morning.
These lenses may be worn overnight for consecutive nights. Soft contact lenses in this category generally have a higher oxygen permeability than daily wear contact lenses and are made of silicone hydrogel material.
Daily Disposable Lenses:
Disposable lenses are designed to be discarded upon removal rather than cleaning, disinfecting and storing the lens. A fresh lens is used each morning. Some advantages of this modality are that a new lens is placed on the eye every day and there is no need for solutions.
Frequent or Planned Replacement Lenses:
This category includes 2-week, 1-month, quarterly and 6-month replacement lenses. These lenses must be cleaned and disinfected each night prior to storing. Planned or frequent replacement schedules can be beneficial for patients who experience comfort and vision problems created by excessive lens deposits, typically protein build-up. The insertion of a fresh lens can relieve these symptoms as well as reduce the potential for inflammation or infection.
Therapeutic Contact Lens Clinic:
Treatment of certain patients with corneal dystrophies or degenerations such as Keratoconus may involve the use of specific RGP or specialty soft contact lens designs. Post-surgical and post-trauma patients can also benefit from contact lenses designed for their specific needs.
Keratoconus and Pellucid Marginal Degeneration:
This is a non-inflammatory, self-limiting corneal disease involving progressive thinning, steepening, and distortion of the cornea. The resulting loss of optical quality in the cornea is improved best with RGP lenses specially designed for the patient.
Patients who have had surgeries such as corneal transplant, RK, PRK, and LASIK may need to improve their vision to a more desirable level with contact lenses in some cases.
Both pediatric and adult aphakia is the absence of a lens inside the eye.
Corneal defects (such as abrasions, recurrent erosions and lacerations) caused by the introduction of a foreign body or substance into the eye may be managed with the use of contact lenses.
Absence of an iris. Patients with iris abnormalities from trauma or congenital forms like anirida can benefit from prosthetic contact lenses which artificially simulate the pupil. Opaque contact lenses can also be used as an alternative for patching in Vision Therapy.
The use of a specially designed RGP for over night wear that reshapes the corneal curvature to provide clear vision during the day without the use of a contact lens or glasses.