CONTACT LENSES – TYPES AND AVAILABILITY
Generally, soft contacts are the most comfortable and are available in clear, color, toric (for astigmatism), and bifocal. The only combinations not currently available are bifocal-color and bifocal-toric (but the manufacturers are working on that latter technology). Soft lenses are available in daily wear/extended wear (one pair for the year) and disposables (daily, 2-week, 1-month, 2-month, and 3-month). Many are approved for overnight wear.
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are also available for patients with and without astigmatism, and if needed, in bifocal. RGP lenses should be removed nightly. They provide superior vision but are not as comfortable as soft lenses.
Hybrid lenses (gas-permeable center with a soft skirt around it) have the same availability as RGP, but with a much lesser decrease in comfort compared to soft.
Many people were told years ago that contact lenses were not an option for them, or that their only option is hard contact lenses, usually because they have astigmatism. That simply isn’t true anymore.
Toric lenses are soft lenses that correct astigmatism. They are available in very high powers. Rigid Gas Permeable (often called “hard”) contact lenses will also correct astigmatism. They will generally provide sharper vision for the patient with the problem, but are not as comfortable to wear as the Soft Torics. The newest option for astigmatic patients is the hybrid lenses; they have a gas-permeable center with a soft skirt around it. This allows “hard” lens vision with near-soft lens comfort.
FOR CHANGING EYE COLOR
Have you ever wondered how you would look with a different eye color? There are now many different beautiful colored contact lenses to choose from, available with and without prescription. There are two basic types:
- Enhancers – For lighter eyes. They will make blue eyes a deeper blue, or turn them green, aqua, or even amber… or, green to blue… or, anywhere in between.
- Opaques – For dark eyes. Opaque lenses will turn a brown or dark hazel to blue, green, violet, or just about any color you could imagine.
Currently there are only four colors available for patients with mild to moderate astigmatism, but we have over forty different colors in-office to choose from in spherical lenses. You can try them on and see the difference for yourself!
FOR THE OVER-FORTY CROWD
Are you now older… or, shall we say, more mature, and need bifocals?
Do you think that in any way “disqualifies” you from contact lens wear?
Absolutely not! Based on your lifestyle, we can tailor a fit that meets your needs.
There are basically three options in soft contact lenses for the presbyope:
- Distance fit, with readers – the contact lenses take care of any distance correction (3-4 feet away and further). Both eyes are now “balanced,” meaning each eye needs the same power to read. This can be accomplished with over-the-counter, or “drugstore” readers.
- Monovision – One eye is fitted with the distance correction, and the other with the reading correction. The brain learns to ignore the eye it does not currently need, depending on what distance you are viewing. Believe us; it’s not as bad as it sounds. It works on about three out of four patients. This is a good option for the patient that does not want to depend on readers when they are wearing contacts.
- Bifocal contacts – The best of all worlds with a successful fit. They tend to be a little tougher fit and can involve a more prolonged fitting process, but when successful, they give more comfortable and clearer vision than monovision (since you have the use of both eyes, all the time) and free you from reading glasses.
At Mansfield Vision Center, we have high success fitting contact lenses for patients of every age and prescription. It is the rare patient who simply cannot wear them; and the reason is usually squeamishness about putting lenses in the eye or wetting issues (drier eyes that result in poor lens comfort or unacceptable vision, or both).
We keep a huge inventory of contact lenses on-hand; that means in the vast majority of cases you will be able to leave our office with a pair the day of your visit. Any follow-up visits are included as part of your annual exam.
IMPORTANT: We warranty all of our contact lenses, and will take care of you if you happen to run across a defective pair or box. If, in the rare instance your prescription changes during the year, we will gladly exchange any unopened boxes. Many mass distributors of contact lenses offer discounts on cheaper/lower quality lens brands, and often pulling teeth is easier than getting them to exchange lenses with you if a problem arises or your prescription changes. Also, keep in mind that mail-order companies usually charge a shipping fee for the lenses, which is often $9 or more! Our prices are very competitive with these retailers, and in many cases we can offer rebates that they cannot.