Contact Lenses

FOUR TYPES OF LENSES:

  • Soft Disposable
  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP)
  • Hybrid Lenses
  • Scleral Lenses

Soft Disposable Contact Lenses

Popular because of their comfort, soft disposable contacts have become the lens choice for many patients. When fit with a skilled practitioner, these lenses provide excellent comfort and are available in most prescriptions for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and bifocals. Colored contacts are also available to change the color of the eye to a wide variety of colors. Made of special water-absorbing plastics, soft disposable contacts allow the eye to breathe while wearing. This is important from an eye health standpoint because the cornea is the only external tissue in your body that must derive its oxygen supply from the atmosphere.

Soft disposable contacts are similar to the old, conventional soft contact lenses, except technology enables them to be manufactured at a fraction of the cost. By replacing the contacts at regular intervals, infections and other wearing complications occur with less frequency. There are contact lenses approved for continuous, overnight wear. We discourage patients from regularly sleeping in their contacts as we feel this wearing schedule is more prone to eye infections. We will discuss your individual situation at the time of your exam.

TYPES OF DISPOSABLE LENSES

Monthly replacement:

  • Lenses need to be placed in nightly disinfecting solution
  • Available in Torics (lenses that correct for astigmatism)
  • Available in Bifocals, usually for those over 40 (they have both a distance and a reading prescription)
  • Available in Monovision, for those over 40. One contact for distance, one contact for reading
  • Available for extended or overnight wear
  • Available in colored lenses to change the eye color


Daily replacement: These lenses are fast becoming the favorite.

  • A fresh lens every day.
  • No solutions are needed.
  • Lens of choice for those that have allergies and dry eye and want to wear occasionally
  • Convenient, especially for travel
  • Slight more cost than monthly replacement
  • Available in Torics (lenses that correct for astigmatism)
  • Available in Bifocals, usually for those over 40 (they have both a distance and a reading prescription)
  • Available in Monovision, for those over 40. One contact for distance, one contact for reading

Examples of different colored contact lenses

 

 

 

Rigid Gas Permeable

These newer generations of lenses have replaced the old-fashioned "hard lenses" with plastic that allows oxygen to pass through, thus the term "gas permeable". This permeability has alleviated most of the complications associated with hard lenses. they are available in a variety of silicone plastics and colors. this is important from an eye health standpoint because the cornea is the external tissue of the body that must derive its oxygen supply from the atmosphere. These RGP lenses give us another option to successfully fit patients who are unable to achieve satisfactory vision with soft disposable lenses. because of their rigid nature, RGP's provide superb vision, especially when correcting for astigmatism. these lenses are smaller than the disposables and are fit within the boundaries of the cornea. Unlike disposables, these lenses last for 2-4 years, so the long-term cost is less. The initial comfort is less than soft disposables and they take longer to adapt to. RGP's are used to correct for corneal diseases, such as keratoconus, that cannot provide good vision with glasses or soft lenses. These can also be designed for bifocal correction. Approximately 5-7% of patients cannot adapt due to comfort issues.


Hybrid Contact Lenses

These lenses take advantage of technologies between the comfort of soft disposables and the excellent vision provided by a rigid gas permeable (RGP's). These lenses have a rigid gas permeable center molded into a soft lens skirt or perimeter. They are a fantastic solution for those unable to adapt to the feeling of RGP's but find that the vision of the soft lenses is unsatisfactory. They are cared for similar to that of soft lenses and they are roughly the same size. Their lifespan is between 6-12 mo. Their development has kept many patients in contact lenses and has prevented many with diseased corneas from going the route of a corneal transplant.

Scleral Contact Lenses

These are the latest in contact lens technology. They are essentially made from the same materials as Rigid Gas Permeable lenses, except they are very large. It is the manufacturing technology that has advanced over the last few years. Previously, labs could not make a lens this large without irregularities. The smaller RGP's are fit on the cornea, and this one feels the edges upon blinking until adaptation occurs. These lenses can be even larger than soft disposables and are designed to vault over the cornea and fit on the sclera (the white of the eye). Because they are bigger and fit underneath the lids, they have a comfortable feeling similar to soft. Upon blinking, the lids do not traverse the edge of the lens, hence, little to no sensation.


Scleral lenses are larger and are fit to the sclera


Gas Permeable are smaller and are fit to the cornea

 

These require more time at fitting as complete settling takes about 20-30 min. These are fit much differently than all previous lens designs. These work well for diseased corneas that cannot obtain good vision through soft lense or glasses. These are good for very diseased corneas that can not even be fit with RGP's as this actual bypass (vault) the cornea on fitting. All corneal irregularities are filled in with tears, and the smooth front surface of the lens bends light like "new, healthy cornea"

These can also be beneficial to those with dry eye, as the lenses are inserted with a copious amount of saline, which remains behind the lens during wearing hours.

PROFESSIONAL FITTING IS REQUIRED

The fitting properties of a lens are determined by several factors including lens curvature, diameter, and power. The all-important factor is that the contacts must fit well enough to center properly but not so tight to prevent an adequate oxygen supply to the cornea. At Skowron Eye Care, photographs (corneal topography) are taken of the eye to give us the exact curvature of the cornea. We perform tear testing to ensure sufficient tears to support a contact lens.


Dr. Patadia giving advice on contact lenses.


Topography gives the most accurate eye shape for the best contact lens fit

 

NOT ALL CONTACTS ARE THE SAME.

There are many different brands or designs of disposable soft contact lenses. Each manufacturer claims to be better than the next and does its best to ensure that the doctor uses their lens. Considerable professional judgment is required for proper contact lens fitting and follow-up eye care. Many times, a contact lens must be worn several weeks to determine if proper oxygen is getting to the eye, if the eye is adapting properly, and if no underlying irritation is present that will appear later. We have NO allegiance to ANY manufacturer, and our choice of lens is not influenced by any financial incentives offered by the manufacturers. We use our professional judgment to determine which lens will give you with the safest, most comfortable lens, with the best vision possible for your eyes.


You'll be shown the correct way to insert your contacts

INSTRUCTIONS ON INSERTION, REMOVAL, AND LENS CARE

In addition to the initial fitting, we will give you thorough instructions on lens care and handling. This is something patients are frequently concerned about and is easily mastered with a little practice. The cleaning procedures are simple and will be explained and demonstrated during an instruction session with one of our staff members. (Solutions we recommend are Optifree Express by Alcon, ReNu by Bausch and Lomb, Clear Care by Ciba Vision, and Complete by Allergan.) If you need additional help, we will schedule more instruction sessions at no additional charge until you feel comfortable and competent.

 

FOLLOW-UP CARE IS KEY TO LONG-TERM SUCCESS

We provide the most important ingredient for long-term success with contact lenses: on-going professional care. Like any medical device, contact lenses must be monitored on a regular basis. This ensures that your corneas are healthy and the lenses fit properly. The number of follow-up visits may vary due to the complexity of the case.

Notice the bumps (dots) on the surface of this soft contact lens. This is from a patient not replacing their lenses in a timely manner. Ultimately, they will end up with an eye infection. That is why follow-up care is so important to safe, healthy contact lens wear. Photo was taken by Skowron Eye Care (SEC)

 

OFFICE PROCEDURES FOR FITTING CONTACT LENSES


HISTORY

Thorough case history to rule out any pre-existing conditions that prohibit wearing lenses, such as dry eye, allergies, sinus conditions, medications, and work or home environment (dryness, dust etc).


Laney performing computerized autorefraction/topography

AUTOREFRACTION

  • The computer verifies your prescription so we can provide you with the clearest vision possible.
  • Our technology minimizes the need to ask,
    "Which is better, one or two?"

SLIT LAMP EVALUATION (microscope) documents and monitors

  • Any conditions that would prevent successful contact lens wear
  • Dry eye
  • Corneal inflammation
  • Unwanted blood vessel growth (oxygen-starved cornea)

TEAR EVALUATION

  • Tear testing to ensure the proper quality and quantity of tears are available to provide comfortable lens wear.

CORNEAL TOPOGRAPHY (photographs/maps the front of the eye)

  • Maps out the shape of the eye over 1000 points
  • Enables us to precisely design a contact lens.
  • Minimizes complications
  • Enables first time fitting success.
  • Detects any unwanted distortions or warpage which would indicate a lens change.


Carol performing corneal topography.


Dr. Skowron explaining proper contact lens care.

 

CONSULTATION

  • After compiling all the data, we will discuss:
  • What your contact lens options are: soft, gas perm, hybrid, or scleral
  • What your chances of success may be.
  • What your expectations should be.


Kezia giving instructions on contact lens insertion.

INSTRUCTION DAY

You will have a 30-45 minute individual session to instruct you on:

  • Insertion and removal techniques
  • Wearing schedule
  • We start with a few hours a day and gradually increase
  • Care of your contact lenses
    How and what types of solution to use
  • Follow-up evaluation, scheduled for one week

What to Expect on Day One

Comfort - Soft lenses, Scleral, Hybrid: At first there will be a slight sensation….almost like a tickle You may feel a little more initially with scleral or Hybrids, but they should become hardly noticeable after a few days. If they remain noticeable, then there needs to be a change in your regimen. That will be addressed at your follow-up visits. RGP's: You will feel these everytime you blink until your lids become desensitized. This is why we give you a graduated build up time. If adapting properly, these lenses will be as comfortable as all the other lenses after 2-3 weeks.

Vision - Regular disposable soft lenses should provide almost immediate clear vision. Toric lenses that correct for astigmatism and bifocal lenses may take a couple of weeks or so to fully clear. Excessive close work may cause the lenses to blur more, as they may dry out due to patients lowered blink rate while reading or working on the computer.

Makeup Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lens wear can be hindered by many factors, including one that is often overlooked – eye makeup. Here are a few tips that can lead to more successful contact lens wear.

  • Avoid hair sprays and spray deodorant as the spray may go into your eyes.
  • Use only water based mascara and eye makeup remover labeled hypoallergenic or for sensitive eyes.
  • Avoid waterproof mascara as it contains mineral spirits and petroleum distillates which are irritating.
  • Choose cream eyeshadows because they do not create particle fallout like powdered shadows.
  • Put your contacts in before applying cosmetics to avoid picking up makeup residue.
  • Never apply eyeliner to the inner eyelid margins as it can cause pore blockage. Soft crayon-type pencil liners are less apt to cause flaking than liquids.
  • Carefully select makeup remover. A water-based product will help avoid the accumulation of grease around the eye and do an excellent job of thoroughly removing water-based mascara.
  • For more makeup tips for contact lens wearers, click here.

Tips for why Soft Contact Lenses Tear

If your contact lens tears when you take it out of the case or blister pack, you probably tore the lens with your fingernail when you took it out. It might be just a partial tear and will not fully tear for a few days.

  • Try spilling the solution out of the case and very gently grabbing the edge of the lens. Even very slight pressure from your fingernails can tear a lens.

If your contacts tear on the edge, chances are you are getting the contact lenses caught in the case when closing.

  • Try putting the contact in the case first and then filling it to the point where the lens is submerged. Don't fill the case up to the top.

Of course, there is always the possibility of getting a bad batch. If you are having problems, please call the office and we will do whatever it takes to remedy the problem.

If you have any other questions please call us at (630) 834-6244 today!

 

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370 N. York Road Elmhurst, IL