Are you a good candidate for wearing contact lenses? Contact lenses are considered medical devices by the FDA and require a contact lens evaluation or fitting from an eye doctor before obtaining a prescription. Contact lenses can enhance the quality of your vision and lifestyle. They can be worn on a daily or occasional basis. Patients who have a large difference between their prescriptions or high amount of refractive error may benefit from contact lens wear. Contact lenses can reduce your dependency on glasses and allow for better vision while playing sports. Ask our eye doctors at your next appointment if you are a good candidate.
Types of Lenses
There are many different types and brands of contact lenses. With a visit to our office, Dr. Wu will help you determine which type of contact lens is right for you.
Soft Contact Lenses
The most common option for contact lens-patients is soft contact lenses. These lenses are made of hydrophilic or “water-loving” polymer. The oxygen-permeable soft lenses allow for comfortable extended periods of wear. Their comfortability combined with their ability to provide clear, stable vision makes soft contact lenses the popular choice. However, soft contact lens do not correct all vision problems, the vision obtained from them is not as sharp as with other lenses, and they tend to soil easily, and therefore need to be replaced more often.
Comfortable and convenient for patients, this option comes in daily disposables, two week replacement and monthly replacement. We also offer toric contact lenses to help correct for astigmatism. Silicone hydrogel lenses offer more oxygen to the cornea and increased comfort.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
These are made of fluoro-silicone acrylate materials that can give you crisp vision. They are ideal for patients with high prescriptions and/or high astigmatism by allowing for quality optics. GPs are also useful for rehabilitating vision for eyes with irregular astigmatism, keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, aphakia, status post radial keratotomy and mild corneal scarring.
If you have trouble reading up close, there are two options for you in contact lenses. Monovision is a type of vision correction where the dominant eye can be corrected for distance and the non-dominant eye can be corrected for near. This can be used in many types of lenses including toric lenses. Multifocal lenses allow you less dependence on glasses as it enables better distance and near vision. This option is available in most of the contact lens types. We also offer soft multifocal toric lenses as an option for patients with astigmatism and presbyopia.
A specialty lens fitting usually requires a corneal topography map of the front of the eye, fitting and training as well as follow-up visits to ensure for the best fit and eye health.
Hybrid lenses have a gas permeable center surrounded by a soft skirt that utilizes the best qualities of each material. They allow excellent centration of the gas permeable portion so that you can have high quality vision and improved comfort compared to traditional gas permeable lenses. They are six month replacement lenses and they can be used for a variety of different correction options. They can help correct for patients with high nearsightedness and/or astigmatism as well as patients who have irregular corneal conditions such as keratoconus or status post radial keratotomy. Some designs are available in progressive (multifocal) options.
These lenses vault over the entire cornea and rest on the conjunctiva (the white of the eye). Scleral lenses have a wide range of uses and are both comfortable and rehabilitative. They can be used for patients with irregular corneas (i.e. Keratoconus, Pellucid marginal degeneration, EBMD, post LASIK ectasia) as well as patients with ocular surface disease (i.e. Sjogrens, post chemical scarring, Stevens Johnson’s syndrome, GVHD) and post surgical (i.e. status post corneal transplant, status post Intacs).
Research has shown that contact lenses can effectively slow down the rate of myopia progression and axial length growth (the length of the eye). Myopia is becoming an epidemic as the rate of myopia progression was projected to increase from 22.9% in 2000 to 49.8% of the world’s population in 20501. In addition, high myopia is expected to increase from 2.7% to 9.8% of the world’s population1. High myopia is associated with higher risks such as myopic maculopathy, cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment/tears. Contact lenses are an effective way to reduce progression. Below are the contact lens options that we offer for myopia management.
Misight Lenses (Coopervision): A FDA approved soft daily disposable lens for children ages 8-12 starting out in myopia management. In a three year double-masked randomized controlled study, patients wearing Misight lenses slowed down the rate of myopia progression by 59% and axial length by 52% compared to children wearing regular soft daily disposable lenses2. Please ask us about the Brilliant Futures Myopia Program.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (Paragon Vision Sciences): We currently offer a FDA approved orthokeratology treatment called Corneal Refractive Therapy which is worn during the night to reshape the cornea. This type of therapy (orthokeratology) works to correct the vision as well as slow down the rate of myopia progression by about 50% in studies for the first 2 years3. CRT was first approved by the FDA in 2002 and is able to correct up to -6.00 DS myopia and 1.75 D astigmatism.
Advantages of Contacts:
- Unlike glasses, which tend to interfere with sports and exercise, contact lenses do not. This allows you more freedom to engage in any activity you want without worrying about your vision.
- Contact lenses generally offer better improved sight than glasses.
- For patients concerned with physical appearance, or the social stigma of wearing glasses, contact lenses offer an invisible option for improving vision.
Disadvantages of Contacts:
- One of the main disadvantages of choosing contacts is that unlike glasses, contacts require consistent care. Each night, contacts must be removed from the eye, cleaned in approved solution, and placed in their airtight container. The container must be replaced every 3-6 months, and kept dry when not in use. Failure to adhere to proper cleaning procedures could lead to infection.
- The risk of infection is another disadvantage of contact use. Excessive wear of the lenses, particularly overnight wear, is associated with many safety concerns, and could lead to infections in the eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea. Bacterial infection resulting from improper cleaning of lenses should also be a considered risk.
Wondering where to buy your next pair of contact lenses? Visit our contacts shop in San Jose today for great service & selection of contact lenses. Also, you can give us a call at 408-295-3433.
1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016 May;123(5):1036-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Feb 11. PMID: 268750072. Chamberlain, Paul BSc (Hons)1∗; Peixoto-de-Matos, Sofia C. MSc2; Logan, Nicola S. PhD3; Ngo, Cheryl MBBS, MMed4; Jones, Deborah BSc, FAAO5; Young, Graeme PhD, FAAO6 A 3-year Randomized Clinical Trial of MiSight Lenses for Myopia Control, Optometry and Vision Science: August 2019 – Volume 96 – Issue 8 – p 556-567 doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001410
3. Deborah K. VanderVeen, MD et al. Use of Orthokeratology for the Prevention of Myopic Progression in Children A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2019;126:623- 636 ª 2018 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(18)33073-2/pdf
4.Walline JJ, Walker MK, Mutti DO, et al. Effect of High Add Power, Medium Add Power, or Single-Vision Contact Lenses on Myopia Progression in Children: The BLINK Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020;324(6):571–580. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.10834