At Clear Lake Eye Center we provide contact lens fitting for daily and extended wear soft contact lenses as well as specialty rigid oxygen gas permeable contacts. We take great pride in ensuring optimum vision, fit and comfort with the contact lenses to allow unobstructed vision for our patients.
1. What is the right age for my child to be fitted for contact lenses?
Contact lenses can be a great option for children, especially for those who are very active. Contact lenses can be safely used on children as young as infancy for those born with congenital cataracts or other eye conditions. However, one should consider contact lenses as a medical device which your child will have to take responsibility for daily. Wearing contact lens without proper handling and caring can result in serious eye conditions such as infections and corneal ulcers. In rare cases, these condition can also case blindness. If you are considering contact lenses as an option for your child, you must evaluate how your child handles other responsibilities. Does he need to be reminded to clean his bedroom and bathroom? Does he take responsibility for his personal hygiene? Does he finish his homework on time without any additional supervision? If your child needs reminder performing those tasks, they may not be ready for the responsibilities of wearing and caring for contact lenses. If your child accepts these responsibilities with ease, contact lens fitting may be the next logical step.
Daily disposable contact lenses are especially a great option for children because they are the healthiest and the most convenient. They are designed to be worm for one day and then discarded at the end of the day. There is no need for an extensive cleaning procedure for your child to follow at the end of their busy day. A brand new pair of lenses is used every day also minimizes the chance for build-up of allergens and pathogens on the lens surface, providing ultimate comfort and health for your child.
2. I have astigmatism. Can I still wear contacts?
Absolutely! Most people have astigmatism in their glasses prescription. There now are many brands of soft contact contact lenses that can provide you with great comfort and sharp vision if traditional spherical contacts do not, they are called toric lenses. For a small amount of patients who cannot tolerate soft toric contacts, we can also provide contact lens fitting them for rigid gas permeable lenses, which sometimes can provide even sharper vision than soft contacts.
3. Can I wear contacts if I wear bifocals or progressive glasses?
Yes! Dr. Brending and Dr. Chen successfully prescribe contacts for patients with presbyopia every single day. Depending on your vision needs and the type of prescription you have, there are different options that can help you see distance and near without your multifocal glasses. The two most common methods are monovision contacts and multifocal contacts.
Monovision contacts are prescribed so that it corrects one eye for distance vision and one eye for near vision. Some people may notice a compromise in depth perception and intermediate vision with monovision contacts. As presbyopia progresses, patients may notice more imbalance between the eyes with this type of contact lens prescription, as well as slightly decreased night time vision. This type of contact lens prescription does not require a special multifocal lens and many patients have experienced great vision with it.
Multifocal contacts are contacts with multiple prescriptions in one lens: distance, near or intermediate. There are different designs of multifocal contacts and depending on your vision needs and your prescription, our doctors can recommend a lens that can work for you. These lenses are more complex and require more time and expertise to perform properly. Dr. Brending and Dr. Chen highly recommend these lenses over monovision contacts for most patients, as the vision can be much improved at all distances with binocular viewing.
4. My eyes get dry when I wear contacts. What should I do?
Dry eye syndrome is a medical condition that is caused by decreased tear production and/or poor quality tear film. Patients with dry eyes will usually complain about blurry vision, grittiness, excessive watery eyes, burning sensation, redness, and contact lens intolerance. Contact lenses do not cause dry eyes but they can exacerbate the symptoms by acting like a sponge that soak up your tears, taking them away from your ocular surface. Patients with borderline dry eyes can experience discomfort only when wearing contacts.
There are now many types of contacts that are designed to be extremely oxygen permeable and are able to stay hydrate longer than before! Daily disposable contact lenses are especially a great option for patients with dry eye syndrome because they are the healthiest and the comfortable. They are designed to be worm for one day and then discarded at the end of the day, so you can get the wonderful feeling of putting on a brand new pair of lenses every day! This also minimizes the chance for build-up of allergens and deposits on the lens surface that can cause discomfort and itchiness, providing ultimate comfort and health for your eyes.
If you suffer from dry eyes, please make an appointment with Dr. Brending and Dr. Chen for a contact lens fitting. We want to address your symptoms for you so you don’t have to suffer anymore!
5. What contact lens solution should I use?
Always discard used contact lens solution and fill your contact lens case with fresh solution daily. Do not reuse the solution from the previous day as this will increase your risk of getting an eye infection.
Saline solution and rewetting drops do not disinfect your contacts, so do not use them to clean and soak your lenses over night.
For soft contacts: We recommend ClearCare and OptiFree PureMoist.
For gas permeable contacts: We recommend Boston solutions.
6. I am new to contact lenses! What should I expect on my first visit?
We understand that contact lens fitting may seem overwhelming. Therefore, we make certain you are comfortable handling your contact lenses prior to leaving our office. After your appointment with our doctors, we usually schedule our first time contact lens wearers to return for a one on one training session with a doctor’s assistant. During the training session, we will discuss and demonstrate proper lens care routine as well as techniques for insertion and removal of the contact lens. We will ensure that you are able to put the contact lenses on your eye and to remove them prior to leaving the office.
Types of Contact Lenses
Millions of people wear contact lenses to help them see clearly. We’ve seen many advancements in lens materials and designs over the years. If you have tried contacts in the past, but stopped due to discomfort or poor quality, it may be time to try again. Dr. Brending and Dr. Chen will help select the best option for your eyes! We have a variety of options for your specific type of prescription correction, tear production, lifestyle, and more. Contact us at Clear Lake Eye Center to learn more.
d for distance and the other eye for near or reading vision. Both of these lens types require more time from the doctor for fitting. Patients need to adapt to using one eye, depending on which distance they are viewing.
There are now more choices for contact lenses than ever before. While some individuals wear contact lenses without trouble, others have to try different types to find their perfect pair. Call our office today to schedule an appointment!
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contacts are the most common type of contact lenses and account for over 85% of contact lenses dispensed. Traditional soft contact lenses consist of soft plastic polymers and water. They allow oxygen to permeate through the lens material to the cornea. Most people find soft contact lenses comfortable. One advantage of soft contacts is that people assimilate to them almost right away. Soft lenses come in different prescriptions and designs depending on your budget and need. For some prescriptions, they do not offer the same visual acuity as gas permeable lenses or glasses. Dr. Brending and Dr. Chen will help you determine which design is best for you.
Disposable Contact Lenses
Disposable contact lenses are soft lenses that are discarded on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. With regular replacement, protein deposits do not build up. Deposits can affect vision, comfort, and the health of the eyes. These lenses are convenient and low-maintenance compared to traditional soft lenses. It is important to replace disposable contacts as suggested to avoid eye infection. Disposable lenses are available in most prescriptions.
Extended Wear Contact Lenses
Extended wear contact lenses are gas-permeable or soft lenses designed for up to 30 days of continuous safe wear. They offer the convenience of not having to take them out at night, but there are risks. Sleeping in them poses a higher risk of infection, corneal ulcers, and abnormal blood vessel growth in the cornea. These lenses need more frequent follow-ups. Some doctors will not recommend extended wear lenses for these reasons.
Tinted or Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Tinted contact lenses are soft lenses that enable some patients to change the color of their iris (the colored part of the eye). These lenses are available in interesting colors and patterns. They can provide a subtle or dramatic change in the appearance of your eyes. They are not available for all prescriptions and are not suggested for everyday wear.
Hard Contact Lenses
Before the introduction of soft contact lenses, hard polymethyl methacrylate contact lenses were common. They did not allow for oxygen transfer to the cornea and often caused the cornea to swell. For this reason, hard contact lenses are obsolete.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP), or just Gas Permeable (GP) lenses are sometimes mistaken for old-fashioned lenses. The old hard contact lenses that people know are rarely used today. RGP lenses are more pliable, more comfortable, and they allow oxygen to the cornea. Gas permeable lenses also allow more oxygen to the cornea than traditional soft contact lenses. They do not change their shape when you blink or move your eyes because they are rigid. This means they offer sharper vision than soft contacts. They are much more durable than soft lenses. Because they do not contain water, proteins and lipids do not adhere to them like they can do with soft lenses. RGP lenses also come in many bifocal and multifocal designs.
The biggest disadvantage of RGP lenses is that patients need to get used to them. They are not immediately comfortable like soft lenses. RGP lenses take three to four days for patients to adapt to them. They need to be worn regularly (although not every day) to achieve optimal comfort. They are smaller in size so they can dislodge from the eye more easily than soft lenses.
Toric Contact Lenses
Toric contact lenses help correct astigmatism. They are available in both soft and gas-permeable designs. These lenses have one power that is vertical and another that is horizontal. There is a weight at the bottom, allowing the lenses to center correctly on the eye. Toric lenses are more difficult to fit. They generally require more time from the patient to determine their comfort. They may need additional fitting help from the doctor.
Bifocal Contact Lenses
Bifocal contact lenses, like bifocal glasses, have more than one power. This allows an individual to have clear vision in fields that are near and far. These lenses are available in both soft and gas-permeable designs. Another alternative to bifocal contacts is monovision correction. With these lenses, one eye is use