Once upon a time, contact lens choices were limited to soft and hard with no variations in-between. Today, advances in optical technology have created a range of special contact lenses that address the types of eye problems that used to keep many people from wearing contacts. In this post, a Camarillo, CA optometrist talks about specialty contact lenses and the different types of eye conditions they treat.
People who can wear standard contact lenses tend to have eyes that have a round corneal surface. The cornea sits on the surface of the front of the eyeball. So if you have astigmatism or an overly curved cornea, standard contacts won’t fit correctly and will likely be uncomfortable to wear.
Specialty contact lenses come in various designs, which are made to accommodate a range of eye conditions that don’t work well with standard lenses. In the past, someone with a less-than-round corneal surface would have to settle for wearing eyeglasses. Today, with specialty contacts, you can enjoy clear vision without having to wear glasses.
If you have astigmatism, finding contacts that fit right can be a challenge. This is because astigmatism causes the eye to have an elongated shape. Toric lenses are designed to accommodate this irregularity. They sit comfortably atop the eye and create a secure fit that keeps the lens from moving around.
Orthokeratology or Ortho-K contacts are a more advanced and recent lens design made specifically for people with nearsightedness or myopia. One form of myopia, in particular, causes the cornea to be overly curved. Ortho-K lenses not only fit well but actually work to flatten the cornea and correct nearsightedness while you sleep. Wearing Ortho-K lenses at nighttime allows you to see clearly without the need for contacts or eyeglasses during the day.
Bifocal contact lenses work in much the same way as bifocal eyeglasses. They contain two different prescription powers that allow you to see clearly at far distances when looking straight ahead and near distances when looking downward, such as at a book or a screen.
If you have dry eyes, an irregularly-shaped cornea, or surgical scarring, scleral lenses may be right for you. These contacts are designed to have a large diameter that makes them more comfortable to wear than standard lenses. This large diameter also creates a moisture reservoir between the lens and your eye surface, which helps provide considerable relief from dry eyes.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call our Camarillo, CA optometry office today.