Not too long ago there were limited options available for people who wanted to wear contact lenses. You essentially had yearly lenses that were hard or you had soft lenses that came in vials. The range of prescriptions were limited and certain conditions did not make you a good candidate to wear them. Fortunately technology has come a long way in the contact lens field and you now have many more options and more ranges in prescription.
The common types of lenses prescribed are the soft disposable type and these are broken down further into different disposable schedules. There are now daily lenses that you wear for one day and then just throw them away once you are finished wearing them. These are great lenses for those who are first starting to wear contact lenses including children and adults as well as those people who suffer from allergies or are looking to wear contacts for recreational use only.
For those people looking to wear contacts all day, every day then either the 2 week or monthly lenses are a great option. These lenses are removed nightly and cleaned in a solution designed for contact lenses and can be worn for up to 2 weeks or a month depending upon the brand of contact lens fitted. Once that time comes, you simply throw that pair away and open up a new lens pair. This option tends to be the most cost effective if you wear them everyday and these types of lenses tend to have the greatest range of powers available.
Now if you have astigmatism or if you require a distance and a reading prescription there are also lenses designed for those specific needs. The astigmatism correcting lenses are called Toric Contact Lenses and they come in the daily, 2 week or monthly disposable. The amount of astigmatism has increased but for the severe amounts a special order lens still may still be the best type of option. For those people over 40 and who need multiple powers for different needs, then either the Multifocal Contact Lens or a fitting set-up called Monovision are the options available. Both options come in the daily, 2 week, or monthly disposable with the multifocal types that come in different powers for reading. Monovision is designed where your dominant eye is corrected for distance while your non-dominant eye is corrected less for distance and more for up close or intermediate ranges which is an especially good option for those who only need a mild power change for reading up close.
There are also contact lenses that are tinted so that they can alter your eye color so if you want to have more blue or if you want to add a hint of green you can do so and still see. These lenses only come in the daily or 2 week disposable and do not correct for astigmatism and do not come in multifocal form. Even though they are not fit as frequently as in the past, hard lenses and soft vial lenses are still available although it is becoming more and more difficult to find these lenses as the manafacturers are either phasing out the lens or have stopped making them completely.
There are also specific corneal conditions that require contact lenses to give you better vision than what glasses may give you. The most common of these conditions is Keratoconus which is a corneal condition that causes your cornea to be irregular and have multiple curvatures. This requires a custom contact lens that can closely match these curvatures to give the best vision and comfort. Soft lenses do not tend to work for this condition and it requires a “hard” or Rigid Gas Permeable lens instead. Technology has increased the oxygen flow through these lenses to make them more comfortable and healthier for the cornea and the rigidity is required to help correct for the different curvatures.
The overall fitting process usually takes some time and may require different lenses fitted to see which one will work the best so you need a practitioner who knows which lens is best suited for your needs and how to fit you properly. If you are looking to either try contact lenses or need a new prescription to order a supply then please call (860) 233-2020 to schedule you appointment with one of our doctors today.