With So Many Contact Lenses Out There, Which One Is Best For Me?

That is a GREAT question!

Advances in contact lens technology have led to the development of more and more types of contact lenses. The Problem is, which one is best for you? Which is the most comfortable and which one is the safest?

So here is the breakdown of the TYPE of contact lenses that are out there:

HIGH OXYGEN / SILICON HYDROGEL

Leading the way in the newest technological developments has been the advent of silicon hydrogel disposable contact lenses. Silicon hydrogel lenses allow better oxygen permeability or breathability compared to regular hydrogel contact lenses. This has long-term health benefits for your eyes, allowing you longer wearing time, excess moisture, and eliminates the long term affects of cleaning solutions on your eyes. This helps keep the eyes healthier and happier.

Since the launch of silicon hydrogel disposable contact lenses, the technology has constantly improved, resulting in softer, more comfortable lenses. The range of prescriptions available in these materials is continually expanding. Silicon hydrogel lenses are available in several different lens materials and designs, including daily disposable, two-week or monthly disposable and multifocal lenses. Silicon hydrogel lenses may be suitable for you to sleep in according to the FDA, however, most ophthalmologists (like us) and most optometrists will never recommend it and in fact, most feel that it is dangerous to sleep in ANY contact lens.

 

RIGID GAS PERMEABLE LENSES

Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses are made from hard, durable plastics that transmit oxygen. These are typically theleast prescribed, but most affordable lenses out there, however, they take a little longer to get used to compared to soft lenses. They offer excellent visibility and clarity, especially in patients with astigmatism or irregular corneas and they are particularly good lenses for conditions such as keratoconus and other rare corneal conditions. These lenses typically last a year and then need to be replaced.

COLOR CONTACT LENSES

To change or enhance your eye color, these are available in a range of colors with or without prerscription. You can even get “Wild Eyes,” which are contact lenses with designs and fun colors, perfect for an occasion like Halloween. Color contact lenses are available in daily, monthly disposable and soft conventional designs. It is important to know that an ophthalmologist should fit all color contact lenses, even those without prescription, as the color contact lenses you find in costume stores are extremely dangerous.

MULTIFOCAL (or bifocal) CONTACT LENSES

Multifocal contact lenses combine distance and near vision. Multifocal contact lenses are available in several different disposable and high-oxygen silicon hydrogel materials, including daily disposable lenses. These, however, can be quite pricey and take a while to get used to. Many patients often quit using them before they take the time to get used to them. By wearing multifocal contact lenses you have the advantage of not being dependent on reading glasses OVER the contact lenses. Many patients often prefer mono-vision (a plain contact lens in one eye for distance and another contact lens in the other eye for near) to multifocal contact lenses.

 

DISPOSABLE SOFT LENSES

The most popular contact lenses today are soft disposable lenses. These lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics known as hydrogels or, in more recent years, silicon hydrogels. Disposable contact lenses are available to suit most prescriptions and are generally very comfortable, and do not require much time to get used to them. Disposable contact lenses are available in daily, two-weekly and monthly designs and are to be replaced at these intervals. People who wear daily disposable contact lenses benefit from a fresh pair of lenses every time they wear contacts, providing excellent comfort and eye health. These lenses require no cleaning or maintenance as they are replaced daily. Two-week and monthly lenses do require maintenance and cleaning solutions.

 

Although contact lenses are widely prescribed, getting a prescription for them is NOT like getting a prescription for glasses. Glasses prescriptions only require a power and a pupillary distance (distance between the two eyes). Contact lenses however come in all shapes and sizes, besides different powers as well. This requires special measurements to measure how round and how large your eyeballs actually are, so the contacts can rest on your eyes properly and safely. Poorly fit contact lenses can be extremely dangerous, even when they are properly cared for. Many insurances and vision plans DO NOT cover these tests and often thee is an added fee for these tests.

You can book in a contact lens consultation with the front desk. When you call, however, please be sure to mention that you would like a contact lens fitting/consultation, so you can have an appointment with one of our contact lens specialists.  Our specialists and ophthalmologists  will be able to advise you on what’s the best type for you. After the consultation, you can then order your lenses from us. the specialists and ophthalmologists will also be able to advise you on contact lens care and maintenance to ensure your eyes stay healthy and your vision clear. Call 718-728-0224 to book your appointment today, or click on the “contact ust” area of the website to book it online now.

 

My Child Wants Contact Lenses – What Do I Do Now?

Contact LensesThis is a very common dilemma many parents face. Should my child wear contact lenses? Are they safe? This was even a dilemma my father, an ophthalmologist, faced when I wanted contact lenses at 10 years of age.

Essentially whether contact lenses are right for your child comes down to three things. According to a study presented at the Contact Lens Spectrum in 2008, children and teens have shown they can take care of their contact lenses just as well as adults.

So how do you know whether contact lenses are appropriate for your child?

  • Is your child responsible enough to take care of his/her contact lenses? Are they likely to use shortcuts or sleep in their lenses?
  • Has your child demonstrated that he/she can wear the glasses properly without losing or breaking them (too often)?
  • Are you willing to pay for them? Insurance almost NEVER covers the cost of contact lenses and solutions.

If the answer to ALL 3 of these questions is “yes,” then contact lenses may be right for your child. If the answer to ANY of these questions is “no,” then I would reconsider and wait for the child to continue to mature prior to fitting for contact lenses.

If you have any further question, feel free to schedule an exam with one of our ophthalmologists and consult with one of our contact lens specialists.