Each patient’s eyes are unique, and there are different types of contact lenses to suit each individual. Some patients have irregular corneas, which means that conventional lenses won’t sit comfortably on the surface of their eyes. Others suffer from eye conditions (like dry eyes) which means normal contact lenses won’t be comfortable.
As you may have guessed from the name, specialty contact lenses are special contacts that are designed for patients that regular contacts might not be suitable. Here are some of the main types of speciality contact lenses and who they are recommended for.
Some of the patients that might benefit from specialty contact lenses include those who:
have dry eyes
need bifocals or have astigmatism
have corneal scars or surgeries like LASIK
have been diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition characterized by bulging of the cornea
suffer from strabismus, a condition where the patient has an eye that turns in or out relative to the other
have suffered an injury to the eye
suffer from a peripheral corneal thinning disorder
are uncomfortable with other types of lenses
Your eye doctor will be able to tell you if you need specialty contact lenses, and if so, which lenses would be best based on your individual requirements.
Many years ago, eye doctors knew that the tissue in the eye was soft and malleable. With the development of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, a few eye doctors began to notice that their patient’s prescriptions did not change as rapidly as previously noted. These patients appeared to be able to see clearly even when they were not wearing their rigid contacts.
From these early discoveries, the world of Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) was born. Ortho-K is a special treatment to help patients see clearly even when they are not wearing a prescription lens. Instead, a special rigid contact mold is placed into the eye each night before bed and the lens gently pushes the eye into the proper shape while you sleep. In the morning, you remove the molds and see clearly ALL day without glasses or contacts. No need for LASIK eye surgery!
Step 1: Get Ortho K lenses from Dr. Bonds
Step 2: Insert your lenses at night before sleeping
Step 3: Sleep Soundly
Step 4: Wake and remove your lenses
Step 5: See clearly ALL day! No glasses and no contacts!
Soft contact lenses are the most common. There are many varieties available that address common vision needs. Soft contact lenses are also a great choice for people with lots of astigmatisms or the need for bifocals. Many people happily and comfortably wear their soft contacts all day every day!
Also known as RGP lenses, these are made from a special material that allows oxygen to pass through them and reach the surface of the eyes. RGP lenses are more rigid than soft lenses, and this helps to keep them stable and secure in the eyes so that patients can enjoy sharper vision. They help the cornea maintain a normal shape, which helps to minimize the effects of some corneal abnormalities.
Exciting News! Multifocal contact lenses are designed for people who need bifocals. Most people who are 40 years old or older need bifocals, and many are good candidates for multifocal contact lenses. These contacts are designed to eliminate the need for eyeglasses. Patients often don’t need reading glasses anymore!
Scleral contact lenses are very different from standard contact lenses. This is because scleral lenses are much larger in diameter, with different sizes available depending on your specific needs. This size difference means that the edges of the contact lens fall on a white part of the eye called the sclera. Scleral lenses vault over the surface of the cornea rather than touch it, leaving a space between the front surface of the eye and the back of the contact lens. The space traps tears which keep the eyes hydrated, while space also accommodates many corneal abnormalities, such as the bulge associated with keratoconus.
Hybrid contact lenses are a combination of both soft and gas-permeable contact lenses, giving patients the opportunity to enjoy the best parts of both designs. The middle part of hybrid lenses is made from gas-permeable material that lets oxygen pass through to the eyes. The outer edge of hybrid lenses is a soft lens skirt. The comfort level that patients experience is more like wearing fully soft lenses.
For more information about specialty contact lenses, don’t hesitate to give us a call.