Q: What types of contact lenses are available?
A: We prescribe daily and extended wear disposable soft lenses, tinted soft lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, astigmatism lenses, bifocal lenses and monovision lenses.
Q: Do contact lenses hurt?
A: Some patients will experience a minor awareness the first time they wear lenses. This usually goes away within one day. In most cases, patients do not feel their lenses at all.
Q: I have astigmatism. Can I wear soft contact lenses?
A: In most cases, yes. There have been many recent advances in contact lens technology. Some of the new lenses on the market allow many astigmatic patients to wear soft lenses that were unable to in the past. These lenses provide superior stabilization on the cornea which corrects astigmatism better than many of the older soft toric lenses.
Q: I have great distance vision, but I wear reading glasses. Are there contact lenses available for me?
A: Yes! We have bifocal contact lenses which correct both eyes for distance and near. We also fit monovision, which corrects one eye for distance and one eye for near. These lenses work well in about 85% of patients.
Q: I used to wear contacts, but my eyes were too dry for them. Are there any new lenses that would help me?
A: Yes. We now have lenses that are specially formulated for dry eye patients. These lenses are made of a new material that doesn’t dry out as readily and provides longer sustained comfort to increase wearing time.
Q: Why must I have an exam every year to renew my contact lens prescription?
A: A federal law was passed in 2004 that requires that all contact lens prescriptions expire one year from the date of issuance and that in order to renew a prescription, the patient must receive an eye exam.
Q: Why is there a contact lens evaluation fee in addition to the standard eye exam fee?
A: Contact lens patients require additional testing and monitoring over and above what is done during a routine eye exam. Contact lenses are medical devices and even though they may feel fine, there are health risks that must be taken seriously.
In order to renew your contact lens prescription, your doctor performs the following tests on a yearly basis. These procedures are not part of a standard eye exam.
Corneal topography – a digital colormap of the surface of the cornea to monitor shape and curvature, which may be affected by contact lens wear.
Slit lamp microscope examination of the contact lens on the eye to check the lens fit.
Slit lamp microscope examination of the cornea, conjunctiva and eyelid tissues, to check the eye health and to look for adverse effects from contact lens wear.
Contact lens refraction to determine the correct contact lens prescription power (contact lens prescriptions are different than eyeglass prescriptions)?
Review new lens designs and materials that may improve comfort and/or health.
Q: Why are there different fees for different types of contact lens fits?
A: Different lenses require different tests and varying amounts of time and expertise in order to fit properly. Obviously a more complicated fit requires more time and skill and therefore is charged a higher fee.
Q: Is it ok to sleep in my contact lenses?
A: Some contact lenses are approved for overnight wear, but only with the express permission of your eye doctor. Sleeping in lenses that are not approved for overnight wear increases your risk for infections, ulcers, neovascularization, and other serious eye problems. If you’d like to sleep in your contact lenses, we’d be happy to fit you in a lens that is FDA-approved for overnight wear.
Q: Do I need to replace my lenses on schedule even if they feel fine?
A: YES! Contact lenses have an “expiration date” after they’ve been exposed to the eye. They are unable to provide adequate resistance to bacteria and protein deposition after the specified time. This dramatically increases your risk of eye infection and ulceration. Continuous over-wear of your contact lenses can lead to problems which could require you to discontinue contact lens wear temporarily or permanently
Q: Why do I need to have a pair of glasses if I wear contact lenses all the time?
A: It is important to have a “backup” pair of glasses in case you could not wear your contacts for any reason. If you were to lose or tear a lens, you should have glasses to wear until you could get a replacement. Also, if your eyes ever get red, itchy, irritated, or have any discharge, you should take your contacts out and wear glasses until you can be seen by an eye doctor. You should not wear contact lenses when you are sick (i.e. with a cold or flu) because you have an increased risk of spreading that infection to your eyes.
Q: How important are sunglasses for my eyes when I’m wearing contact lenses?
A: Very important. Sun lenses, specifically those with 100% UVA and UVB protection are essential for all outdoor activity. The UVA and UVB rays are as harmful to your eyes as they are to your skin. This is why you should always have on sun wear, even if you’ll only be outdoors for a short time. Also, sun lenses reduce glare and increase contrast, which provides more crisp and comfortable vision while in the sun.
Q: Are there colored contact lenses available?
A: Yes. Colored contact lenses are available for most prescriptions. Lenses are available in a variety of colors and tints. If you’re interested in colored lenses, please inform the technician so that we can determine if you can be fitted in these type of lenses.
Q: What are the benefits of daily disposable contact lenses?
A: Daily disposable contact lenses are a healthier and more convenient option for contact lens wearers. With the single use wear design, you never put the same lens back on your eye. Thereby reducing the risk for eye infections, deposit build up, and solution sensitivity. It is convenient to patients since it eliminates the need for solution and keeping track of replacement schedules.