Since the days of the original hard lenses, substantial developments have occurred in contact lens materials and designs. Newer contact lenses offer patients improved comfort and wearing experiences as well as greater independence from spectacles.
Marietta Eye Clinic offers a unique combination of services for patients, including:
- Evaluation and fitting for soft or gas permeable designs for routine nearsighted or farsighted patients
- Customized designs for astigmatism, presbyopia
- Specialty fits for patients with keratoconus, corneal scars, post refractive surgery difficulties, other difficulties
- Lens fittings for nearsighted patients desiring a non-surgical way to reduce their dependency on glasses
Corneal Reshaping with Paragon CRT®
Corneal reshaping through the use of specialty contact lenses is also offered at Marietta Eye Clinic. This process uses specially-designed Paragon CRT brand contact lenses to temporarily reshape your cornea as you sleep. The lenses are worn at night, gently providing the reshaping necessary to correct nearsightedness in adults or children so clear vision can be achieved the following day. These lenses must be worn nightly.
Contact us today to learn more about your contact lens options in Marietta, Georgia. Schedule an eye exam today.
Contact Lens Types
The variety of contact lenses fit by Marietta Eye Clinic are as diverse as the patients we treat. Modern computer technology has made it possible to manufacture contact lenses in materials and in geometrical designs that could not have been made only a few years ago. Marietta Eye Clinic utilizes state-of-the-art contact lens fitting sets and computerized contact lens design technology to handle virtually any contact lens fitting requirement. Every Marietta Eye Clinic office is staffed by a highly-trained, experienced contact lens fitter. In addition, two of our Optometrists are contact lens specialists who have lectured at the national and international level and have published in professional journals on a wide variety of contact lens topics. From contact lenses for simple nearsightedness and farsightedness to more complicated designs for astigmatism and bifocal needs to the most complex contact lens designs for post-surgical fitting and for eyes with diseases that require highly specialized contact lenses just to obtain useable vision, Marietta Eye Clinic can handle it all.
Soft Lenses vs. "Hard" Lenses
The truth is that "hard" contact lenses aren't fit anymore, and they haven't been fit on a regular basis for well over 20 years. Rigid contact lenses, today's much more comfortable and much healthier version of the old hard lenses, are still fit. These lenses are called gas permeable lenses. Rigid lenses are often useful when a patient's prescription is such that soft lenses won't provide vision as crisp and sharp as the patient desires or needs, but soft lenses provide comfortable wear and acceptable vision for a majority of patients. Rigid lenses are also used for the more highly specialized lenses used for post-surgical and eye disease fitting. Most fits at Marietta Eye Clinic begin as soft lens fits. Moving from soft lenses to the rigid lenses is usually recommended when attempts to achieve comfort and good vision with soft lenses have failed. In some cases, the fitter may recommend rigid lenses at the outset knowing that soft lenses are unlikely to provide acceptable vision. Surprisingly, rigid lenses are often more comfortable than soft lenses for patients with dry eyes. Soft lenses are replaced at regular intervals whereas rigid lenses can last from 3 to 5 years before needing to be replaced.
Daily Wear vs. Extended Wear
Daily wear means the contact lenses are worn during the day and are removed from the eyes prior to going to sleep. Extended wears means the contact lenses are worn while sleeping as well as during the day. Almost all modern soft lenses and rigid lenses are approved by the FDA for extended wear, but you should ask your fitter about your particular lenses, just to be sure. Extended wear does carry additional risks of infection and decreased lens comfort as compared to daily wear. In addition, the types of infections extended lens wearers experience are usually more serious than those associated with daily wear. Surprisingly, again, rigid lenses tend to have a lower incidence of serious infections with extended wear than soft lenses. There are circumstances where extended wear is the best option but, generally speaking, Marietta Eye Clinic favors daily wear over extended wear.
Lenses for Simple Nearsightedness and Simple Farsightedness
Lenses for near and farsightedness are fairly straightforward to fit. Most of the lenses attempted will provide both comfort and acceptable vision. These lenses are categorized by their replacement schedules (for soft lenses only): daily disposable, 2-week disposable, monthly disposable, quarterly disposable, biennial disposable, and annual replacement. The more often the lenses are replaced, the more comfortable the lens wear is, the lower the risk of eye infection, and the sharper the vision since there is a lower degree of deposits and film on the lenses and since fresh sterile lenses are inserted more often. Rigid lenses are also perfectly acceptable for near and farsighted prescriptions, and they often provide vision that is more clear than that achieved with soft lenses.
Marietta Eye Clinic promotes daily disposable, the single most comfortable, least hassle (no cleaning or disinfection is required), lowest risk of infection (fresh, sterile lenses every single day), and best vision of all the categories. Marietta Eye Clinic fits several different daily disposable soft lenses. So, one is sure to provide you with comfortable, healthy, clear vision.
Marietta Eye Clinic fits 2-week soft lenses, but we find 2-week lenses are more of a hassle for our patients due to the irregular replacement schedule. It's simply easier to manage daily replacement or monthly replacement for the vast majority of people. Therefore, Marietta Eye Clinic promotes the daily and monthly replacement wear regimens.
Some specialty contact lenses come in 4-lens packs for quarterly replacement. These are usually complex prescriptions that are more expensive to produce. So, quarterly replacement makes them more affordable while maintaining replacement often enough to minimize problems with comfort and eye health.
Biennial and annual replacement lenses are rarely fit. Very few lenses are made in these replacement categories since very few doctors fit them, and even fewer patients want them. There are still some available, but Marietta Eye Clinic finds the other replacement categories mentioned are preferred by both lens fitters and the patients who wear the lenses.
Lenses for Astigmatism
Lenses for astigmatism are called toric lenses. They come in both soft and rigid lens types. Toric lenses usually require a few appointments to achieve the best fit and the best vision. Unlike lenses for simple near and farsightedness, toric lenses add lens rotation and movement, bending of the lens on the eye, and formation of a lens of tears between the contact lens and the eyeball to the list of items that can affect the final contact lens fit and prescription. So, if you are told you need toric lenses to see well, just be patient, and your fitter will get you into a lens that is both comfortable and that provides clear vision.