Contact lenses remain an extremely popular treatment for refractive eye errors, enabling patients to experience the benefits of clear vision without the compromises and inconvenience that tends to accompany wearing glasses.
Many people don’t realize that when it comes to contact lenses, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Just like with choosing glasses frames and lens types, there are also a variety of different contact lenses to select from. To ensure that your lenses both work for you and are comfortable to wear, it is important to find the type that is best suited to your needs. This is where our expert team comes in. With expert knowledge and plenty of experience, we can help you to find the ideal contact lenses to fit your eyes and your lifestyle. In the meantime, here is what you need to know about some of the different types of contact lenses.
The majority of disposable soft contact lenses are designed to be worn for a set period of time before they are replaced with a new lens. This can be anything from a single day, when they are often referred to as daily disposables or dailies, to a whole month. In the case of those disposable lenses that are worn for more than a single day, you will need to undertake daily cleaning and disinfection before they are worn again.
Most disposable soft lenses have high water content and are made from a very thin, soft and flexible material which helps to make them very comfortable to wear.
As their name suggests, an extended wear contact lenses are designed to be worn for extended periods of time. Whilst they should be removed before you go to sleep at night, they can be comfortably worn both day and night. Modern extended wear contact lenses are made from gas permeable materials that enable enough oxygen to reach the eyes, preventing them from becoming dry, sore and uncomfortable.
Also called gas-permeable rigid contacts or gas-permeable lenses, these contact lenses are much harder than their softer counterparts, and this enables them to retain their shape on the eye. This feature makes them particularly good for correcting some types of eye problem including astigmatism and keratoconus.
These contact lenses are the standard variety used to correct refractive eye errors. They have the same lens power across the optical field of the lens and can be used to correct near-sightedness or far-sightedness.
Toric contact lenses are made to correct astigmatism. This condition occurs when instead of being shaped like a soccer ball, the cornea – which is the clear, transparent lens covering the eye – is not perfectly spherical and instead shaped more like a football. The result is blurred vision. Unlike standard lenses, toric lenses have an extra parameter within the lens called the axis. It is this element of the lens that corrects astigmatism.
If your prescription has determined that you need help to see objects that are both nearby and far away, you will almost certainly need multifocal lenses. These are lenses that contain two prescriptions, the prescription shifting gradually across the lens which enables you to see clearly at all distances. This type of lens is particularly common in older patients who are suffering from presbyopia – age-related vision decline.
Scleral contacts are a specialty variety of contact lenses that is much larger in diameter than ordinary contacts. There are different sizes available, but they all make contact with the sclera (the white of the eye), vaulting over the corneal surface and leaving a space beneath. Scleral lenses are recommended for patients for whom regular contacts aren’t suitable – such as those with dry eye syndrome or keratoconus. This is because they allow air and tear film to flow around the cornea, and they provide enough space for corneal abnormalities, such as the bulge seen in patients with keratoconus.
If you are considering contact lenses to correct your vision and would like more information about the variety of options available to you, our dedicated and knowledgeable team would be happy to help. Please contact Dr. Romeu Eye Associates in West New York, NJ to schedule your confidential consultation.