Special contact lenses can treat and combat a variety of eye conditions. They are designed to provide the patient with clear and comfortable vision. Aside from addressing vision issues, they can also help improve the overall appearance of the affected eye. For instance, the color of a cornea can be changed, making it more appealing to the wearer. Also, prosthetic lenses can block excessive light. By blocking glare, they can make it easier to see.
Hybrid contact lenses combine two different types of lens materials to offer a more comfortable and effective solution for patients. The inner part of the lens is made of a rigid gas permeable material, while the outer skirt is made of a soft contact lens material. These hybrids provide a comfortable, all-day solution for patients who have astigmatism, presbyopia, or irregular corneas.
Orthokeratology contacts are a type of specialty contact lens. These contacts gently reshape the front of the eye while the wearer sleeps. This reshaping process is the primary way these lenses work. When worn overnight, the contact lens can help slow the progression of myopia in children. As the wearer's eye adjusts to the new lens shape, it can gradually eliminate the need to wear contact lenses during the day.
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are durable plastic lenses that allow ample oxygen to pass through the lens. They are most effective for patients with astigmatism or a high vision deficit. However, these lenses can feel uncomfortable and take a bit of time to get used to. While a good choice for many patients, they may require several adjustments to properly fit.
Soft contact lenses are the most commonly used type of contact lenses. They are often preferred because of their ability to stay in place more easily than RGP lenses. Additionally, their softness allows them to be comfortable and less likely to cause abrasions or infections. In addition, they can be worn throughout the day, providing a more natural-looking option for those who are tired of wearing glasses.
Custom molded scleral lenses are made specifically for the patient. Unlike standard contact lenses, which are shaped directly on the surface of the eye, scleral lenses are larger in diameter and rest on the sclera, the part of the eye between the iris and the cornea. With a larger diameter, these lenses provide the wearer with the comfort and clarity of a hard lens while maintaining the benefits of a soft lens.
Ortho-K lenses are another option for those with an irregular cornea. These contact lenses act as a prosthetic for the cornea. Instead of reshaping the cornea with a laser, these contacts gently reshape the cornea in the evening. The change in the shape of the lens will help correct light coming into the eye during the day.
Patients who have an irregular cornea or have had a corneal transplant can benefit from these lenses. Specifically, these lenses are designed to address refractive issues that are associated with astigmatism or keratoconus.