Contact Lenses are cosmetic devices worn on the eye to correct refractive errors. They are made from soft or rigid gas permeable materials. Lenses may be clear, tinted for ease of handling, or colored to enhance one’s appearance. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages of these different lens types. After an initial eye examination, your eye care provider will discuss which lens option is best for you based on your visual needs and ocular condition.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP)
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses are made from hard plastics. They offer vision correction for many conditions including near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and presbyopia. They are especially ideal for patients with astigmatism or keratoconus (a corneal disorder). They sit on the eye’s cornea (clear front surface of the eye), and have a smaller diameter than soft lenses. The rigid material of RGP’s can provide clearer, crisper vision. These lenses are very durable, easy to care for, and can last for years. Allergic problems and toxic reactions are rare as RGP’s provide more deposit resistance than soft contact lenses.
Initial fitting of RGPs, however, is a more timely and precise procedure than fitting soft lenses. A “custom” fit is required for each eye. There is also a short adjustment period during which the wearer will feel the contact in the eye. Most motivated individuals will quickly adapt to the lenses.
Soft Contacts are made from hydrogel or silicone hydrogel materials, both of which “hold water.” This property allows the lenses to remain soft and flexible when worn. Soft lenses are capable of correcting a variety of refractive errors, including near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Soft lenses drape over the entire cornea (clear membrane) and extend onto the sclera (white part of the eye). The chief advantage of soft lenses is that they are readily accepted by most patients and are instantly comfortable from the initial fitting.
Soft lenses are flimsy, and for many people can be difficult to handle at first. They have a tendency to develop a build-up of deposits that can irritate the eye, and so require relatively frequent replacement and daily cleaning. Dependent on your lens type, soft lenses may be discarded daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly and exchanged with a fresh pair. Some soft lenses can be worn while sleeping, although this is known to increase the possibility of complications, including corneal ulcers, and is not recommended by our practice. Daily disposable lenses (discarded after one day of use) are currently one of the healthiest lens options. Inserting a new lens everyday greatly reduces the risk of infection and the build-up of lens deposits. Please contact us at 1800-708-8800 to make an appointment with a contact lens specialist.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
The SynergEyes® lens has a rigid gas permeable (RGP) center with a soft skirt, combining the clear vision of an RGP with the comfort of a soft lens. This innovative design is ideal for patients with astigmatism or keratoconus seeking sharper vision and more comfort in a contact lens. At Matossian Eye Associates we have a board certified doctor who specializes in fitting these hybrid CLs.
Colored Contact Lenses
We offer the latest in colored soft contact lenses, which can provide an exciting way to change your look while while correcting your eyesight.
Contact Lens for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a very common vision problem that occurs when the cornea is more oval than round. Astigmatism can be corrected by glasses or contacts.
Soft Toric Contact Lenses vs. Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP):Either a soft toric lens or a rigid gas permeable lens can be used to correct astigmatism. Toric soft contact lenses must remain stable on the eye to produce good vision. If there is too much rotation of a toric soft contact lens, a patient will not have clear vision. Toric soft contact lenses are available in both hydrogel and silicone hydrogel material. There are also multifocal toric lenses available which correct both astigmatism and presbyopia (normal aging process in which a patient’s near vision becomes blurry).
For patients with a high amount of astigmatism, an RGP lens may be a better option.
An RGP lens will provide crisper vision. It is made of a stiffer material. RGP lenses are less comfortable initially than a soft lenses and do take some time to adjust to. Your eye care professional can decide which lens choice is the best for your astigmatism.