For those who wish to wear contact lenses, it’s important to remember that the standard prescription provided by eye care practitioners is generally only for eyeglasses. There are additional measurements that must be taken in order to get the right lenses for your needs.
Every eye is different – your left is slightly different from your right, and your eyes are different from those of everyone else around you. Differences include the diameter and the curvature of your eye, not to mention the severity of any vision problems that you might have. This is why getting a precise contact lens fitting is so important.
Advancements in contact lens technology allow most people to successfully wear contact lenses – even those with astigmatism or bifocal requirements. Our doctors go beyond the “one size fits all” approach to contact lens evaluations and fittings. We understand the importance of personal attention when it comes to your vision and comfort. Our doctors will evaluate your needs, prescription, and long-term eye health to arrive at a final contact lens prescription that combines for you the most convenient, comfortable, and healthy contact lenses available.
Texarkana Eye Associates has contacts available to target specific eye problems like dry eyes, astigmatism, difficulty reading, and eye diseases like keratoconus. We are focused on taking the time to give you the best comfort and vision, not just adequate comfort and vision. Contact lenses are constantly being improved for more comfort and better vision.
What are the different types of contact lenses?
- Soft Contacts – Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Soft contact lenses may be easier to adjust to and are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable lenses. Newer soft lens materials include silicone-hydrogels to provide more oxygen to your eye while you wear your lenses.
- Rigid Gas Permeable Contacts – Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGPs) are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup. They tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens since they last longer than soft contact lenses. They are easier to handle and less likely to tear. However, they are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing RGPs, compared to several days for soft contacts.
- Extended Wear Contacts – Extended wear contact lenses are available for overnight or continuous wear ranging from one to six nights or up to 30 days. Extended wear contact lenses are usually soft contact lenses. They are made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. There are also a very few rigid gas permeable lenses that are designed and approved for overnight wear. Length of continuous wear depends on lens type and your eye care professional’s evaluation of your tolerance for overnight wear. It’s important for the eyes to have a rest without lenses for at least one night following each scheduled removal.
- Disposable Contacts – The majority of soft contact lens wearers are prescribed some type of frequent replacement schedule. “Disposable,” as defined by the FDA, means used once and discarded. With a true daily wear disposable schedule, a brand new pair of lenses is used each day. Some soft contact lenses are referred to as “disposable” by contact lens sellers, but actually, they are for frequent/planned replacement. With extended wear lenses, the lenses may be worn continuously for the prescribed wearing period (for example, 7 days to 30 days) and then thrown away. When you remove your lenses, make sure to clean and disinfect them properly before reinserting.
- Decorative Contacts – Some contact lenses do not correct vision and are intended solely to change the appearance of the eye. These are sometimes called plano, zero-powered or non-corrective lenses. For example, they can temporarily change a brown-eyed person’s eye color to blue, or make a person’s eyes look “weird” by portraying Halloween themes. Even though these decorative lenses don’t correct vision, they are regulated by the FDA, just like corrective contact lenses.