The field of optometry is ever changing, and now more than ever, more people are able to enjoy the flexibility of wearing contact lenses to correct their vision. At Handel Vision Clinic, we are pleased to offer multiple types of contact lenses and we are dedicated to ensuring they fit properly and provide you with your best possible vision.
Contact lens evaluations are designed to determine your prescription, the curvature of your eye, your overall ocular health (such as dryness or allergies), your lifestyle and personal goals with contact lens wear, and even your budget! This information helps our doctors narrow down what type of contacts are available to you.
Scheduling your annual eye exam and your contact lens evaluation for the same visit will save you time and money. Performing these exams at different locations or with different optometrists can lead to repeated tests and additional fees. When you call us to schedule your appointment, be sure to mention that you are interested in contact lenses--this allows us to schedule the extra time required for your lens fitting or prescription updates.
The results of your contact lens evaluation will help to determine which type of lens you are best suited for. It is essential that these lenses fit properly not only for your comfort but also for your long-term eye health. This is why we always provide contact lens trials to ensure good comfort, fit and vision prior to ordering your annual supply of lenses.
Of the soft lens categories listed below, there are multiple brands and replacement modalities available including daily, two-week, or monthly replacement lenses.
Spherical contact lenses are the simplest lenses on the market and are designed for either near-sighted or far-sighted prescriptions without the need for astigmatism correction or bifocal (multifocal) design.
Toric contact lenses are soft lenses used for patients who have a significant astigmatism prescription. These lenses are a little more sophisticated than spherical lenses as they are weighted so they can rotate to correct for your specific astigmatism power.
Multifocal contact lenses are designed for patients who have presbyopia and need varying powers to see both far away and up close. These lenses are more complex and may require extra visits and trial lenses in order to dial in to your best prescription. However, the effort is worthwhile as multifocal lenses provide the best possible depth perception and vision for presbyopes without having to rely on reading glasses.
Multifocal toric contact lenses are the most advanced type of soft lens available due to having multiple parameters to correct for both distance and near vision as well as astigmatism power.
Monovision contact lenses are simply spherical or toric lenses with an altered prescription utilizing eye dominance to create adequate distance and near vision for presbyopes. This type of set up is typically used for patients who are either not interested in or not a candidate for multifocal contacts.
Although soft contact lenses are the current industry standard due to their comfortable and healthy material, some patients have eye conditions or visual demands that cannot be properly treated with soft lenses.
For instance, keratoconus or other ocular surface irregularities, extremely high prescriptions not available in soft lenses, chronic dry eye, and myopic control all typically require speciality lenses. These lenses are termed “hard-to-fit” simply because they require advanced training, experience, and instruments that may not be available at all optometry offices.
Rigid Gas-Permeable (RGP) lenses are hard contact lenses that can provide correction for very high prescriptions and they are available as spherical, toric, multifocal, multifocal toric, or monovision, just like soft lenses. RGP’s are more expensive and not as comfortable as soft lenses but much more durable and only replaced when necessary.
Scleral lenses are large, rigid contacts that vault over the eye, creating a dome, or reservoir of tears that helps in treating chronic dry eye. These lenses also work to correct irregular corneal shape to help improve vision in patients with ocular surface diseases such as keratoconus. The larger diameter of this lens means that the edges rest on a less sensitive area of the eye, making them more comfortable than traditional RGP lenses.
Myopia management lenses are hard contacts that are worn overnight in order to reshape the corneal surface, resulting in not needing to wear corrective lenses throughout the day. These lenses are primarily used to help slow the progression of myopia in children. You can learn more about these lenses online at our Myopia Management Center, or ask our doctors at your next visit!
If you’re interested in contact lenses, feel free to check out our new wearer guide for more information and common questions or call us today to schedule an appointment for an annual eye exam with contact lens evaluation!