In the past, some conditions would have made it difficult for people to wear contact lenses. However, with the advancements in contact lens technology most people with specific conditions can now wear contact lenses successfully.
Contact Lenses for Keratoconus
Keratoconus is an eye condition where the cornea becomes thin and bulges outward causing irregular astigmatism. The term keratoconus comes from the Greek terms for cornea (kerato) and cone-shaped (conus). The exact cause of keratoconus in unknown, but it is thought to have a genetic component linked to it.
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are a treatment option for keratoconus because they can help maintain the shape of the cornea. Therefore, helping to prevent further bulging of the cornea. Another treatment option is to use a technique called "piggybacking". This technique utilizes a soft contact lens underneath the RGP lens to help increase comfort while wearing rigid gas permeable lenses. A treatment option that has seen several advances made in recent years is the newest hybrid contact lenses. This option uses a RGP lens for the center which is then surrounded by a soft "skirt". This design allows the benefit from the RGP lens with the comfort of a soft contact lens. Rigid gas permeable lenses can correct vision problems caused by keratoconus better than eyeglasses or soft contact lenses by themselves.
Contact Lenses for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a very common condition where the curvature of the front of the eye is not perfectly round, but instead shaped more like a football. This causes the curvature of the front of the eye to be either steeper or flatter than a curvature 90 degrees away. Astigmatism usually doesn't keep you from wearing contact lenses, but does require a different kind of lens.
Contact lenses specially designed to correct astigmatism are called toric contact lenses. Most toric contact lenses are soft lenses. Toric soft contact lenses are designed to align with the curvatures of the front of the eye. These lenses contain different corrective powers in different lens meridians and design elements to keep the lens from rotating on the eye. This allows the corrective powers to become properly aligned with the different meridians of the front of the eye.
In some cases, toric soft lenses may rotate too much on the eye resulting in blurry vision. If this occurs, different brands with different anti-rotation designs can be tried. If the toric soft lens rotation continues to cause blurry vision, then rigid gas permeable lenses, with or without a toric design, will correct the astigmatism.
Contact Lenses for Presbyopia
Typically in your early 40's, a normal loss of focusing on close objects starts to occur; this condition is known as presbyopia. With all the advancements in contact lenses, there are now multifocal contact lenses to help correct the symptoms of presbyopia. Another option other than multifocal contact lenses, is to be fit with monovision. This technique allows for wearing of a contact lens in one eye for the distance vision, and a contact lens in the other eye for the near vision.
During your contact lens consultation, we will help determine whether multifocal contact lenses or monovision is best for your lifestyle.
Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can make contact lens wear difficult and cause a number of symptoms including:
- a gritty, dry feeling
- feeling as if something is in your eye
- a burning sensation
- eye redness, especially later in the day
- blurred vision
If you have dry eyes, the first step is to treat the condition. This can be done a number of ways including the use of artificial tears, presciption eye drops, nutritional supplements, and a procedure called punctal occlusion. Punctal occlusion blocks the tears from draining to quickly from your eyes.
Once the dry eye condition is treated and symptoms are reduced or eliminated, contact lenses can then be explored as an option. The newest advancements in technology with contact lenses have allowed certain soft contact lens materials to work better than others for dry eyes.
Replacing your contact lenses more frequently, reducing your wearing time, or being fit with daily disposable soft contact lenses can help reduce dry eye symptoms while wearing contacts.
Contact Lenses after Refractive Surgery
Undesirable vision problems may remain after surgery that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or a second surgical procedure. In these instances, rigid gas permeable contact lenses or specially designed post- surgical contact lenses can help restore vision.
If you have been told that that you are "hard-to-fit" or that you are not a good candidate for contact lenses because you have been diagnosed with one of the above conditions or for some other reason, and are interested in wearing contact lenses, please call Avery Ranch Eye Care at 512-255-7070 to schedule your consultation.