Every patient and their eyes are different. Some patients have corneal abnormalities which means that conventional lenses won’t sit comfortably on the surface of their eyes. Others suffer from medical conditions that mean normal contact lenses won’t be comfortable or could irritate their eyes. Specialty contact lenses are used to correct vision problems due to astigmatism. Many people who need reading glasses can be helped with multifocal contacts.
Some of the patients that might benefit from specialty contact lenses include those who:
dry eye syndrome
corneal scarring or irregular corneas
keratoconus, a condition characterized by the bulging of the cornea
old eye injury
intolerant srandard lenses
Your eye doctor or contact lens provider will be able to tell you if you need specialty contact lenses and if so, which lenses would be best based on your individual requirements.
RGP lenses are an improvement on traditional hard contacts. They are useful for patients who are unsuccessful with soft contact lenses. Since they are “rigid,” they are useful for patients with astigmatism or irregular corneas.
Torics are used to correct astigmatism.
Multifocals are lenses for patients who need reading glasses. If you have distance correction, that can be placed in a multifocal contact lens.
Scleral contact lenses are different than standard contact lenses. Scleral lenses are a good choice for patients with dry eyes and corneal abnormalities. Scleral lenses are much larger in diameter. This size difference means that the edges of the contact lens fall on a white part of the eye called the sclera rather than the cornea. Scleral lenses vault over the surface of the cornea rather than touching it, leaving a space between the front surface of the eye and the back of the contact lens. This space traps tear film to keep the eyes hydrated and also corrects irregular corneal abnormalities, such as the bulge associated with keratoconus.
Limbal contact lenses are another type of specialty lens that falls between rigid gas-permeable lenses and scleral varieties in terms of their size. Their larger overall diameter helps to increase their stability on the surface of your eyes. They also offer minimal interference with the eyelids, which helps to ensure comfort and clarity of your vision.
Hybrid contact lenses are a combination of both soft and gas-permeable contact lenses, giving patients the opportunity to enjoy the best parts of both designs. The central part of hybrid lenses is made from gas-permeable material that lets oxygen pass through to the eyes, and this firmer center gives the lens greater stability and enhanced clarity. Meanwhile, the outer edge of hybrid lenses is a soft lens skirt. This soft lens skirt means that patients don’t have to deal with the hard edges associated with RGP lenses that may be uncomfortable.
Our doctors will be able to tell you if you need specialty contact lenses and if so, which lenses would be best based on your individual requirements.