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More than 24 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. Why? Because they're a great alternative to glasses. Prescription contact lenses correct the same conditions that eyeglasses correct including nearsightedness, farsightedness, distorted vision and the need for bifocals.
That said, some people can't wear contact lenses, particularly those with frequent eye infections, severe allergies, dry eye, or a dusty work environment. Determining whether or not wearing contacts is right for you depends on your expectations and whether you may have a condition preventing you from doing so. Apart from that, there is an initial adjustment period requiring some patience, not to mention the guidelines for wearing, disinfecting, cleaning your contact lenses. Some people just don't want to be bothered.
If you have decided prescription contact lenses are right for you, the next step is determining what lens material you'd like to use. You can choose from five types. In addition to the material used in their construction, wearing options cover daily wear soft lenses, one-day disposable contact lenses, two-week and monthly disposable contact lenses, planned replacement soft and rigid contact lenses, specialty lenses for astigmatism, bifocal and mono-vision. Smart contact lenses are on the horizon that border on science fiction.
Soft Lenses: Made from hydrogels, soft lenses are thin, pliable, and easily conform to your eye's surface. Because they are soft, they are comfortable pretty much right away. Although they've been around a long while, nearly five decades, they are still a good option and makeup nearly 25% of the contact lens market.
Silicone Hydrogel Lenses: By far the most popular type by people wearing contacts, silicone hydrogel contact lenses are an advancement in soft lenses introduced in 2002. They allow more oxygen to reach the cornea owing to their greater porosity.
PMMA Lenses: These lenses are made from the same material as Plexiglas so that should give you a good insight into their nature … they're hard. The upside is that they deliver great optics. The downside is they deliver little oxygen to your cornea making them hard to get used to. Because of better materials available today, PMMA lenses are rarely prescribed.
Gas Permeable Lenses: If you're looking for contact lenses that offer sharper vision, especially in comparison to soft lenses, GP lenses are a good fit. Literally. Gas permeable lenses are porous and allow oxygen to get to your cornea making them much more comfortable and closer-fitting than hard lenses. In fact, after acclimating yourself to wearing them, you'll likely find them as comfortable as hydrogel contacts.
Hybrid Contact Lenses: As you might guess, hybrid prescription contact lenses provide the comfort of soft contacts with the enhanced optics of hard, gas permeable lenses. The center portion of the contact is rigid and gas permeable, while the outer area is soft owing to hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. Hybrid contacts are more costly than their soft contact counterparts.
Even if you have a good notion of the type of contact you'd like to wear, it's best to involve your eye care professional in the decision process. Plus, keep in mind that even with contact lenses, you'll still need eyeglasses. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when you're wearing contacts.
How often would you like to wear your contacts? Every day? Special occasions? If you select soft contact lenses you'll have the flexibility whenever you like. Gas permeable contacts must be worn consistently to be comfortable.
If you're looking for better sharpness, GP lenses will do a better job for you than soft or silicone hydrogel contact lenses. That's especially true if you have astigmatism.
Looking to avoid the hassles of cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses daily? Daily, disposable contacts are the answer. Just wear them today and toss them tomorrow. If you're looking to wear your contact lenses daily and nightly, even during sleep, a gas permeable lens might be the right answer for you.
Apart from some these obvious considerations, you and your eye care professional will need to decide if you need bifocals or mono-vision contact lenses. And, if you suffer from dry eye, there are specific contact lenses that may be better suited for you. Finally, if you're fashion conscious or just looking for something different, colored contact lenses can enhance or change your eye color altogether.
If you think contact lenses are right for you, schedule your exam and eye fitting by calling us or using our contact us form.
In case you're wondering, a contact lens exam does cost more than a routine eye exam, largely because there are more steps involved requiring additional time. For starters, your eye care professional will need to determine what style contact lens is best for your needs. Then there's the corneal topography test that maps out your cornea including areas that are steeper and flatter. Keep in mind, your contact lenses will rest on your eyes so mapping out your cornea will ensure a better, more comfortable fit. After a discussion and corneal topography test, you'll need to have diagnostic contact lenses placed into your eyes to make sure your lenses will fit and move properly. These are just some of the additional steps we'll take to make sure wearing contacts is a pleasure and not a pain.
Campus Eye Center makes contact lens replacement fast and easy. Just call our direct, 24/7 line at 717-544-3907 for your contact lens refills. Orders placed by phone after business hours will be processed and ready for pickup at our offices the next business day. Annual rebates and free shipping are available for some products.
If you're ready to make the switch to contact lenses, give us a call to schedule your eye exam and fitting. Our eye care professionals will make sure they match you to the right style and fit. Call today.
Campus Eye Center is an exceptional eye center with experienced eye doctors, Ophthalmogists and Optometrists, in Lancaster, PA.
We offer total vision care including contact lenses and revolutionary Lasik eye surgery at our eye and laser center.
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