We offer a wide selection of contact lenses including disposable soft contact, bifocal/multifocal, toric, and colored lenses. Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly disposables, or conventional (vial) lenses, check out our selection of lenses that fit your needs.
A good contact lens fit starts with a thorough eye exam to ensure the most up-to-date prescription and rule out any pre-existing conditions that could interfere with contact lens wear.
We then determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs and the shape and health of your eye. In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to try lenses on the same day as your exam. You can even return home with a few samples before making a final decision.
We follow-up the initial fitting and then make any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible fit. We teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.
BRANDS WE CARRY
We carry all of the top contact lens brands, including:
- Vistakon / Acuvue
- Bausch & Lomb
- Cooper Vision
TYPES OF CONTACT LENSES
A routine exam cannot provide some of the measurements and testing that are required to determine if your eyes are suitable for contact lens wear, and to generate your contact lens prescription.
- Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses: If you need correction for presbyopia but dislike the idea of bifocal eyeglasses, you have many contact lens options.
- Gas Permeable (GP) Contact Lenses: These rigid lenses are not as popular or well-known as soft lenses, but they offer the advantages of durability, crisp vision, and high oxygen permeability.
- Contact Lenses for the “Hard-to-Fit” Patient: Challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, keratoconus, and dry eyes needn’t be a barrier to contact lens wear, but they do require more time and patience.
- Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism: “I can’t wear soft contacts; I have astigmatism.” This once-true statement is now simply a myth.
- Air Optix Colors: Ever wish you had different color eyes? Now you can!
EYE EXAMS FOR CONTACT LENSES
For many people, contact lenses provide greater convenience and more satisfying vision correction than eyeglasses. Here’s what’s involved in a typical contact lens exam and fitting:
Comprehensive Eye Exam
Before being fit with contact lenses, a comprehensive eye exam is performed. In this exam, your eye doctor determines your prescription for corrective lenses (just a glasses prescription at this point) and checks for any eye health problems or other issues that may interfere with successful contact lens wear.
If all looks good during your eye exam, the next step is a contact lens consultation and fitting.
What to Expect During a Contact Lens Fitting
The first step in a contact lens fitting is a consideration of your lifestyle and your preferences regarding contact lenses, such as whether you might want to change your eye color with color contact lenses or if you’re interested in options such as daily disposables or overnight wear.
Although most people choose soft contact lenses, the advantages and disadvantages of rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses will likely be discussed as well.
If you are over age 40 and need bifocals, your eye doctor or contact lens specialist will discuss ways to deal with this need, including multifocal contact lenses and monovision (a prescribing technique where one contact lens corrects your distance vision and the other lens corrects your near vision).
Contact Lens Measurements
Just as one shoe size doesn’t fit all feet, one contact lens size doesn’t fit all eyes. If the curvature of a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your eye’s shape, you may experience discomfort or even damage to your eye. Measurements that will be taken to determine the best contact lens size and design for your eyes include:
An instrument called a keratometer is used to measure the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea). This measurement helps your doctor select the best curve and diameter for your contact lenses.
If your eye’s surface is found to be somewhat irregular because of astigmatism, you may require a special lens design of lens known as a “toric” contact lens. At one time, only gas permeable contact lenses could correct for astigmatism. But there are now many brands of soft toric lenses, which are available in disposable, multifocal, extended wear, and colored versions.
In some cases, a detailed mapping of the surface of your cornea (called corneal topography) may be done. Corneal topography provides extremely precise details about surface characteristics of the cornea and creates a surface “map” of your eye, with different contours represented by varying colors.
Pupil and Iris Size
The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) can play an important role in determining the best contact lens design, especially if you are interested in GP contact lenses. These measurements may be taken with a lighted instrument called a biomicroscope (also called a slit lamp) or simply with a hand-held ruler or template card.
Tear Film Evaluation
To be successful wearing contact lenses, you must have an adequate tear film to keep the lenses and your cornea sufficiently moist and hydrated. This test may be performed with a liquid dye placed on your eye so your tears can be seen with a slit lamp, or with a small paper strip placed under your lower lid to see how well your tears moisten the paper. If you have dry eyes, contact lenses may not be right for you. Also, the amount of tears you produce may determine which contact lens material will work best for you.
In many cases, trial lenses will be used to verify the contact lens selection. Lenses will be placed on your eye and your doctor will use the slit lamp to evaluate the position and movement of the lenses as you blink and look in different directions. You will also be asked how the lenses feel.
You will typically need to wear these trial lenses for at least fifteen minutes so that any initial excess tearing of the eye stops and your tear film stabilizes. If everything succeeds, you will be given instructions on how to care for your lenses and how long to wear them. You will also receive training on how to handle, apply and remove the lenses.
Follow-up Visits Confirm the Fit and Safety
Your contact lens fitting will involve a number of follow-up visits so your doctor can confirm the lenses are fitting your eyes properly and that your eyes are able to tolerate contact lens wear. A dye (like the one used to evaluate your tear film) may be used to see if the lenses are causing damage to your cornea or making your eyes become too dry.
Often, your doctor will be able to see warning signs develop before you are aware a problem with your contact lens. If such warning signs are evident in your follow-up visits, a number of solutions may be recommended, including trying a different lens or lens material, using a different lens care method, or adjusting your contact lens wearing time. In occasional cases, it may be necessary to discontinue contact lens wear altogether.
Your Contact Lens Prescription
After finding a contact lens that fits properly, is comfortable for you, and provides good vision, your doctor will then be able to write a contact lens prescription for you. This prescription will designate the contact lens power, the curvature of the lens (called the base curve), the lens diameter, and the lens name and manufacturer. In the case of GP contact lenses, additional specifications may also be included.
Routine Contact Lens Exams
Regardless of how often or how long you wear your contact lenses, your eyes should be examined at least once a year to make sure your eyes are continuing to tolerate wearing contact lenses with no ill effects.
BIFOCAL AND MULTIFOCAL CONTACT LENSES
Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are designed to give you good vision when you reach your forties. From the age of forty onward, you may need to hold reading material—like a menu or newspaper—farther from your eyes to see it clearly. This condition is called presbyopia.
Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable (GP) materials.
Bifocals, Multifocals—What’s the Difference?
Bifocal contacts lenses (like bifocal eyeglass lenses) have two powers - one for seeing clearly far away and one for seeing clearly up close. Multifocal contact lenses, like progressive eyeglass lenses, have a range of powers for seeing clearly far away, up close, and everywhere in between. (“Multifocal” is also a catch-all term for all lenses with more than one power, including bifocals.)
Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses
Based on design, there are basically two types of multifocal contact lenses:
Simultaneous Vision Lenses
With these lenses, both distance and near zones of the lens are in front of your pupil at the same time. Although this might sound unworkable, after a short period of time your visual system learns to use the power you need and ignore the other lens power(s), depending on what you are looking at. Simultaneous vision lenses are the most popular type of multifocal contact lens. They are nearly always soft lenses, and are available in two designs:
Concentric Ring Designs
These are bifocal lenses with either the distance or near power in the center of the lens, with alternating rings of distance and near powers surrounding it.
These are progressive-style multifocal lenses, with many powers blended across the lens surface. Some aspheric lenses have the distance power in the center of the lens; others have the near power in the center.
Alternating Vision (or Translating) Lenses.
These are GP multifocal lenses that are designed like bifocal eyeglass lenses. The top part of the lens has the distance power, and the bottom part of the lens contains the closeup power. When you look straight ahead, your eye is looking through the distance part of the lens. When you look down, your lower lid holds the lens in place while your pupil moves (translates) into the near zone of the lens for reading.
Will Multifocal Contact Lenses Work for Me?
Most people who try multifocal contact lenses are happy with them, but some compromises may be necessary when you wear these lenses. For example, your distance vision with multifocal contact lenses may not seem clear enough, or you may have troubles with glare at night or not being able to see small print.
In some cases, a better solution for presbyopia may be a monovision or modified monovision fitting of regular (“single vision”) contact lenses.
In monovision, you wear a single vision contact lens on one eye for your distance vision and a single vision contact lens on the other eye that has a prescription for your near vision. In modified monovision, you wear a single vision “distance lens” on one eye and a multifocal contact lens on the other eye to help you see better up close.
To determine the best contact lenses for your vision needs when you reach “bifocal age,” call our office for a consultation.