Are there Contacts availible for Astigmatism?
Yes: there is especially in the past 5 years contact lens companies have taken extraoridinary steps to expand the ability of patients with astigmatism to be able to use soft lenses vs. rigid gas perm lenses. Soft lenses can greatly enhance comfort and with the revolution design changes the lenses are more stable and less likely to shift and blur your vision.
Are there contacts available for Distance and Near together?
Yes: Some limitations do exist on fitting these lenses especially for those with astigmatism. In the past year we have seen all the contact lens companies release new lenses for "Presbyopia" due to the surge in "baby boomers" that are current contact lens wearers but are having difficulty with near vision.
Why is my Doctor Changing my contacts – Especially because they are more Expensive?
Research on contact lenses have come a long way since the 1980's and lens designs/materials have drastically changed. The cornea of the eye is a structure that requires oxygen from the air to work properly. Contact lenses unfortunately decrease the amount of oxygen that permeates the cornea – especially older contact lenses.
Decreasing oxygen through the cornea causes:
- Corneal swelling,
- Increase in myopia,
- Blood vessels begin to penetrate the cornea ( blood vessels are typically not found in the cornea)
- Clouding of the cornea
You as a patient may not feel or notice any complications occuring.
When Dr. Webb examines your eyes he thouroughly scans the cornea for any of these corneal findings. Older contact lenses are like older cars – no safety features. Newer contacts are made of materials that typically allow from 80% to 100% of the oxygen through the lens thus keeping the cornea healthy. These new contacts are a little more expensive due to production and development costs but:
Eye health should always come first – you only have two eyes!
Can I sleep in my Contact Lenses?
Dr. Webb does not recommend sleeping in any contact lenses on purpose. Contact lenses do exist that have FDA approval for what is called "Extended Wear" situations but this does not limit the possibility of corneal damage that can result in a permanent decrease in visual acuity. If you are looking for Contact Lenses you can sleep in please mention this to Dr. Webb so that he can fit you with the proper lens.
Do I have to Change my Contacts as Frequently as Prescribed?
Yes! The reason you don't want to wear your contact lenses longer than prescribed is the increased risk for permanent corneal damage. As contact lenses are worn protein and bacteria start to deposit on the surface and over time they can start to damage the cornea. Cleaning solutions minimize this possibility but cannot completely eliminate the risk. The FDA determines through research participants when the risk of corneal damage is too high.
Cheaper/Generic vs. Non-Generic solution?
Dr. Webb always recommends what type of solution has the best compatibility with your contact lenses and eyes. Cheaper or generic solutions are shown to contribute to more frequent complaints of dry eyes, burning sensations, corneal irriation, and even redness. All of the newer contact lens solutions are made to be less abrasive to the eye and also have re-wetting factors built in so that contact lens comfort is sustained throughout your daily wear.
***Remember: Contact lenses are hydrated plastic (if you don't put in solution will turn brittle) so as the contact lenses are soaking overnight they are actually asorbing the cleaner into the lens matrix. As you wear your contact lenses during the day the cleaner is released into the eye tear film.
Can I use my Contact Lens Cleaner solution as a Rewetting Drop?
Dr. Webb does not recommend doing this since the solution contains a cleaner that can actually worsen dry eyes. You should always use eyedrops that are for contact lenses. Eyedrops that are not made for use with contacts can actually blur your contact lens permanently and/or damage the ability of the contact lens to hydrate properly. If you only have contact lens solution, Dr. Webb recommends taking the contacts out, rinse, and then re-insert instead of directly spraying a contact lens cleaner in the eye.