Contact lenses are another option available to anyone in need of nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatism correction. Contact lenses offer a solution to those who feel restricted by eyeglasses while also offering an alternative to corrective surgery such as LASIK. Another benefit of contact lenses are that they offer a full, unobstructed view as opposed to eyeglasses.
If you are first time contact lens wearer then it is important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. During this time you will undergo a comprehensive eye exam by your doctor. Your doctor will also discuss the options available that will best fit your prescription, your eye structure and your tear production to determine the best lens for optimal eye health.
There are many kinds of contacts that can be categorized as following:
- The material they are made of (hard, soft, and GP lenses)
- Length of wear (daily and extended wear)
- Frequency of disposal (disposable, daily disposable, frequent replacement and traditional lenses)
- Lens design (spherical, bifocal, orthokeratology and toric)
- Additional features (dry eye contacts, colored lenses, special effects and prosthetic lenses)
If you are interested in contacts as a corrective alternative feel free to contact our Reno office to schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors today. We will gladly answer any of your questions and provide you with the best treatment options available to you.
Our Contact Lens Guarantee
At the Visionary Eye Center we want to take the risk out of trying contact lenses. Most of the contact lens options we fit are covered by our No-Risk Trial Guarantee, which means you are under no obligation to purchase lenses when you try contacts in our office. So if you are interested in trying contacts for the first time, or trying out some of the new technology lenses we offer in our office, rest assured you will not have to purchase any lenses unless you are 100% happy with your lenses.
Specialty Contact Lenses
At the Visionary Eye Center we pride ourselves on working with patients with the most difficult contact lens fits from keratoconus treatment to prosthetic contact lenses. If you have a condition that requires specialty contact lens types click here for more information about medically necessary specialty contact lenses.
Contact Lens Information
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are the most commonly prescribed type of lenses for a reason, they are the most comfortable and convenient option for most patients. Many patients adapt to soft lenses almost immediately. There are typically soft lens options for every patient, including colored lenses, overnight wear, multifocal and daily disposable. This lens type is great for athletes and those with active lifestyles as they generally do not fall out. At the Visionary Eye Center we frequently fit our patients in soft lenses as our first choice. As great as soft contacts are, they may not always provide the best vision possible. There is also a constant need to purchase more lenses as most soft lenses are designed to be replaced on a frequent basis.
Daily disposable soft lenses are quickly becoming the most commonly prescribed option for most patients and is our favorite option for contact lenses for kids. Parents love that they require no cleaning or care systems and if a lens is torn or lost you have multiple backups. Allergy and dry eye patients love them because they get a new fresh lens every time, leading to a more comfortable wear experience. Patients with busy lives love the convenience of no care, who has time to clean their lenses every day. Doctors love them because daily disposables are associated with a lower rate of complications like infection. There are toric, multifocal and even colored options in daily disposables. Many patients have concerns about costs of dailies, but after you factor in the $100-$150 in cleaning solutions and $30-$100 in rewetting drops purchased in a year for other lens types the costs start becoming more equivalent.
Planned or Frequent Replacement
For many patients, planned replacement lenses offer a combination of comfort and budget. Planned replacement lenses come in weekly, 2 week and monthly options. Monthly lenses tend to be the most cost friendly where weekly and 2 week lenses offer fresher lenses more frequently. Planned replacement lenses offer the security of having backup lenses. A common issue with any lens kept more than a day is solution sensitivity, causing dry, red and irritated eyes.
Quarterly, Semiannual, Annual
For patients with more complex prescriptions not met by daily or planned replacement lens types we have many custom and made to order options with longer replacement schedules. Theses lenses offer the ability to be custom fit to your eye and prescription, offering better vision. Weekly cleaners often need to be part of the cleaning regimen.
Soft Lens Types
- Spherical Contact Lenses - For patients with little to no astigmatism
- Toric or Astigmatism Contact Lenses - For patients with mild to significant astigmatism
- Multifocal Contact Lenses - For patients over 40 who struggle with near vision
- Colored Contact Lenses - For patients that wish to change eye color
- Extended Wear Contact Lenses - For patients that wish to sleep in their lenses
- Custom Contact Lenses- For patients with unique needs like large prescriptions or corneal diseases like keratoconus
Soft Lens Materials
The newest material to be used in soft contact lenses is silicone hydrogel. Silicone hydrogel lenses offer more oxygen permeability, won’t dry out as quickly and resist protein deposits in comparison to HEMA hydrogel lenses. HEMA hydrogels still have a place due to their greater resistance to lipid deposits and affordability
Gas Permeable Lenses
Though considered by many to be old technology, rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lenses are in many ways still the best contact lens option for many patients. Today’s lathing technology, corneal topography technology and improved materials allow these lenses to be manufactured to micron preciseness leaving us with greater comfort. As always, GP lenses offer the best visual correction possible by utilizing tear film technology to correct for minor corneal discrepancies that are only masked by soft lenses. For cost sensitive patients, GP lenses are often less expensive as the lenses may be kept for multiple years if cared for well. GP lenses come are available in spherical, toric, bifocal and multifocal options. GP lenses are for patients that value crisp vision over comfort.
Scleral lenses have been around since the late 1800’s, but have recently experienced a resurgence in use with the invention of highly oxygen permeable materials. At the Visionary Eye Center we are the only clinic in Nevada to utilize wide field optical coherence tomography to model the eye to fit these lenses. This lens type is a fantastic option for those with irregular corneas where other corneal lens technologies have failed as they sit on the conjunctiva over the sclera and completely vault the corneal abnormalities. This allows a perfect tear film lens to fill in the abnormalities caused by conditions like keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration and post-surgical keratoplasty. This tear film lens allows for better visual correction for those with severe corneal conditions.
Spherical, toric and multifocal options are available and recently designs have been released for patients with normal corneas seeking the vision offered by rigid gas permeable materials but wish to have better comfort. We have had several patients comment that these lenses are just as comfortable as the soft lenses they have worn in the past. As they are made with GP lens materials, with diligent care scleral lenses may be kept for more than a year.
Scleral lenses generally require a more stringent cleaning regimen than other lens types. Click here for our cleaning recommendations. The costs of scleral technology is often higher due to the materials needed, high tech instrumentation, fitting time and expertise required to prescribe this lens option.
Utilizing a GP lens center with a soft lens skirt, hybrid lenses marry the vision provided by GP lenses with the comfort of soft lenses. This lens type comes in spherical and multifocal options for patients with normal corneas and spherical options for those with mild to moderate corneal abnormalities. These lenses generally require more time and expertise to design and fit along with complex techniques to fuse the GP center to the soft skirt and as such carry a higher cost. They are semi-annual replacement lenses.
We offer many services for our patients with ocular disfigurements and iris trauma. We work with several labs to offer a wide variety of prosthetic and custom colored lens options. From a simple planned replacement colored lens to hand painted custom matched irises, we can help restore your confidence. We even offer black out lenses for patients with intractable diplopia. Due to the custom nature of some of our more complex prosthetic offerings, these lens options are typically non-refundable and are not often covered by insurance.
Contacts Over 40
It used to be that getting older meant that you had to abandon contact lenses for bifocal glasses. Today though we have a multitude of options for our presbyopic (loss of focus power after 40) patients
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Multifocal contacts are an exciting option for many patients. There are three types of multifocal lenses: translating, aspheric and concentric ring. Translating lenses are available only in GP lenses and work like lined bifocal glasses by having the lens move up over the pupil as you look down, placing the near power of the lens in front of the eye. This type allows for a definite clear distance and reading zone, but suffers from a lack of intermediate vision. Aspheric lenses rely on simultaneous visual perception to give both distance, intermediate and near vision. These lenses focus light from all distances on the retina, and it is up to your brain to decipher which image it wishes to use. Not all patients are able to adapt to this lens type, but when it works patients generally rate their happiness highest with this lens option. Concentric rings designs work by alternating rings of distance and near power. Designs come in both center-near and center-distance. As the pupil constricts for near vision or expands for distance the varying optics of the lens take over, allowing for both distance and near vision. Both aspheric and concentric ring designs suffer from a decrease in contrast as they are only focusing part of the light from any one distance.
Monovision Contact Lenses
For many patients, correcting one eye for distance and one eye for near is the answer. It is more cost effective as single vision lenses are used and most find they are able to adapt to monovision. Typically your dominant eye is corrected for distance. Drawbacks to monovision contact lenses include a decrease in near depth perception, Many patients find their distance depth perception unaltered as many of the depth perception cues beyond our arm’s length are typically monocular (one eyed) anyways. Glasses may be prescribed over the top of your contacts in order to sharpen your vision for task specific activities like night driving. A modified monovision approach may also be used where a single vision lens is used in one eye and a multifocal lens in the other eye.
Glasses over contacts
For patients that are unable to adapt to monovision or multifocal contact lenses, you may continue to wear contact lenses and use glasses over the top for specific tasks like reading or using the computer. While this option is the least convenient, it offers the best clarity.
Please visit our orthokeratology page for more information on this exciting technology using corneal molds to reshape the eye overnight leaving you glasses and contact lens free during the day.
Contact Lens Solutions
Today it seems there are almost as many contact lens cleaning solutions as there are contact lense types. Remember to only use the solution prescribed by your eye care practitioner. Contact lens solution related problems are one of the most commonly faced issues at the Visionary Eye Center. Improper use of cleaning systems can lead to redness, dryness, decreased wear time, decreased comfort, increased susceptibility to allergies, infection and even loss of vision.
Multipurpose Solutions for Soft Lenses
- Optifree Express, Optifree Replenish, Optifree Puremoist
Hydrogen Peroxide Based Solutions for Soft Lenses
- Clear care
- One Step
GP Lens Solutions
- Optimum by Lobob
- Boston Advanced
- Boston Simplus
- Opti-free GP
- Unique PH
- Clear Care