Contact lenses are a marvel of modern scientific achievement. Eyeglasses have been around since before the Renaissance, which meant a life with lenses sitting on your nose. Although sometimes a nuisance, eyeglasses aren’t as potentially dangerous as contact lenses can be for your eye health.
The convenience that contact lenses provide doesn’t come without cost. Contact lenses bend light in the same way glasses do, except they sit on top of your cornea and cover the ocular surface. Because the surface of the eye needs a constant oxygen supply for good health, contact lenses can present a problem.
Contact Lens Prescription
Getting a new contact lens prescription is important to ensure we capture an accurate measurement of your vision needs.
An eyeglasses prescription is a helpful guide for a contact lens prescription, but we measure the variation in shape of each patient’s eyes for a contact lens prescription. Identifying the necessary lens power to correct a patient’s farsightedness or nearsightedness is the primary purpose of updating a contact lens prescription.
Other variations in the eye’s shape are also important for a good fit.
Differences between your left and right eyes sometimes require bifocal contact lens. These multifocal contacts simultaneously correct two refractive errors in a patient’s eyes. Sometimes bifocal contacts are too uncomfortable or don’t provide clear vision, so we prescribe monovision contacts. These contacts split the error correction between the left and right eyes.
Irregular cornea curvature can worsen an already-bad prescription by ineffectively spreading light onto the retina. Corneas like these require corrections for astigmatism or keratoconus (the latter in more severe cases).
With a copy of your prescription, you can also ask for an eyeglasses prescription.
However, not all contacts are of the same quality. Technological advances in contact lens manufacturing and efficacy have created possibilities for many different contact lens types. Those types can vary by the materials used or the functional design.
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Different Contact Lens Materials
You can choose from multiple forms of contact lenses:
- Soft contact lenses offer the comfort of a soft, flexible lens. The hydrogel material gives soft contacts their pliable, comfortable structure. Soft lenses are the most common type of contact lens material for our patients.
- Extended-wear lenses are made of the same material as soft lenses, plus an added silicone element that increases breathability and motility. These are known as overnight contacts because sleeping in them isn’t potentially harmful for eye health.
- Rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses are made of a hard, plastic material with microscopic holes that allow oxygen (gas) to pass to the eye. Generally, GP lenses offer many advantages, like increased breathability, sharper vision and longer durability. Nonetheless, GP lenses cost more and can be uncomfortable for some patients.
- Hybrid contact lenses are a combination — the rigid GP lens with the hydrogel edges of a soft lens. This dual design offers better lens breathability and the comfort of soft lenses.
Different Lens Designs
Advances in contact lens technology affect the lenses’ design and materials. Contact lenses need to fit the wearer’s lifestyle, so take these factors into consideration:
- Daily wear contacts are single-use lenses. Given their purpose, they’re one of the safest lens types because they don’t require maintenance or cleaning. Their thinner design and high water content mean the natural buildup of bacteria, lipids or proteins is less likely.
- Monthly contact lenses require more maintenance and cleaning than single-use lenses. Longer-use lenses are thicker. Monthly contacts can present more opportunities for mishandling, which can harm a patient’s eyes.
- Two-week contacts provide a middle ground in terms of flexibility, cost and maintenance. With the availability of newer, more breathable materials, two-week contact lenses are waning slightly.
What Our Complete Contact Lens Exam Tests For
During our comprehensive eye exams, optometrists cover numerous health factors. To ensure proper eye care, the CustomEyes team performs these tests:
- Vision acuity test
- Cover test
- Internal eye pressure
- Ocular motility for eye muscle capabilities
- Color blindness
- Eye coordination
- Depth perception
- Peripheral vision
- Color vision
- Internal eye pressure
- Ocular refraction
- Responsiveness to light
Contact Lens Fitting Process
Your new contact lens prescription should be a perfect fit for your eyes, vision and lifestyle. Our friendly, knowledgeable CustomEyes Team welcomes you to our outstanding clinic. There, our expert staff takes a personal medical history of your current prescription, current medications and any previous eye or vision conditions. This allows us to tailor a custom contact lens exam to meet your unique needs.