Contact Lenses: Experience the Life-Changing Benefits
Ron is graphic designer by training. He moved to the Salt Lake Valley recently and came to Progressive Eye Care in South Jordan for a second opinion.
Legally blind from advanced keratoconus -- a progressive thinning of the cornea that greatly distorts vision -- he was working as a janitor. A doctor in another state had told him his only hope was a corneal transplant, but he was reluctant.
This image shows a typical corneal map of a person with keratoconus.
We asked Ron to do a trial of a new type of rigid contact lenses called a Scleral Lens.
Scleral lenses are large like a soft lens but are made of rigid oxygen-permeable materials. The lens rests on the white part of the eye and vaults over the cornea. Surprising comfortable compared to traditional hard lenses, scleral lenses are great for irregular corneas and can correct vision in cases where nothing else can work.
For Ron, the results were nothing short of a miracle. He and his wife were emotional as they described his wonder at being able to see again. With scleral contact lenses, he could see to drive again. He could see mountains, leaves on trees, his wife's face, his daughter's eyes, the lights at Temple Square. "You have changed my life!"
Too many people with keratoconus struggle without the gift of good sight
Glenda's struggle with keratoconus was similar. She had very thick glasses that really didn't help all that much. Her vision was a very poor 20/30 in one eye and 20/200 in the other, with her glasses. Traditional rigid gas permeable lenses can correct vision nicely, but are uncomfortable. Glenda had tried them without success.
Glenda was fit with Onefit semiscleral contact lenses, because they are great for both clarity and comfort with keratoconus.
She obtained 20/20 vision for the first time in years, and is now feeling more confident to drive. She can see peoples faces. There is even a new light in her eye when you look at her. Her husband saved and sacrificed to purchase her scleral lenses, saying, "If I can give her anything I want to help her see." We were honored to help them achieve that goal!
Could Contacts Change Your Life?
Not every contact lens success story is as dramatic as Ron or Glenda's. But positive transformations don’t have to be miraculous to be real and valuable.
Here are other ways a life can change with right contact lens prescription:
- A young soccer player excels in the sport she loves because Vision Shaping with Ortho-K helps her enjoy crisp, clear vision all day without glasses or daytime contact lenses.
- A shy teenager’s personality and confidence bloom because her soft contacts free her from worrying about looking silly or getting teased about wearing glasses.
- An office professional enjoys eyeglasses for work, but occasional-use daily disposable contact lenses give him welcome freedom from glasses for a night out on the town with friends and a weekend game of basketball.
- A 40-something-year-old tradesman, who hates wearing glasses at work, is elated that bifocal contacts allow him to see house plans and tape measures for work and ride his hotrod motorcycle on the weekends.
Contact Lens Comfort
Contact lenses, when used properly, are very convenient, and with the latest advancements in technology, they are extremely comfortable. Most of the time, you will hardly know you are wearing them, though you will certainly notice how clear and accurate your vision is.
Contact lenses are small lenses worn on the surface of the eye, or cornea, to correct vision.
We will discuss the option that is best for you. Many patients choose contact lenses for their primary vision correction and glasses as a backup option. All contact lens wearers should have glasses as a backup for emergencies.
Many patients who primarily wear glasses also enjoy contacts for activities and events where they would rather not wear their glasses.
Contact Lens Types
Contact lens technology continues to improve every year. Some patients have been told in the past that they could not wear contacts, or they tried unsuccessfully to wear contact lenses. You owe it to yourself to see what is new.
We carry many options and promise to do our best in selecting contact lenses that you will love wearing. Here are some descriptions of common lens types:
Conventional Soft Lenses
Conventional soft lenses are worn during the day and cleaned and stored at night. These lenses can last for up to a year if your prescription stays the same and you take good care of them. However, we rarely recommend this type of lens because frequent-replacement lenses are so much more economical, not to mention more healthy for your eyes.
Disposable Soft Lenses
Disposable soft lenses are much more popular than conventional soft lenses. These lenses are worn for a period of time and then, of course, thrown away. Some lenses are made to be replaced every two weeks, some every month, and some on a daily basis. The type of lens and wearing schedule we recommend is based on a number of factors. Our goal is to recommend the lens type that will be the most healthy and convenient for you.
Soft Colored Contact Lenses
Cosmetic or colored lenses are used by those who wish to change the appearance of their eye color. Colored lenses are available in many prescriptions or with no prescription. Some prescriptions are not available in colors, unfortunately. By law, colored contacts must be fitted by an eye doctor Contact lenses are medical devices with known side effects and risks. Worn improperly, colored contacts can damage your vision permanently.
Bifocal Soft Lenses
Recent technology has greatly improved bifocal soft lenses. Many patients who are in their 40s who need bifocals can now enjoy the comfort and benefits of soft contact lenses. We’re fitting these a lot with very good success. Some patients enjoy having them just for going out on weekends.
Toric Soft Lenses
Toric lenses are used to correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is a vision condition where an irregularly shaped cornea affects the vision. In the past, the only options for those with astigmatism were either glasses or hard gas permeable contact lenses. Today’s toric lenses are much more comfortable and stable on the eyes and come in a greater range of powers.
Extended Wear Soft Lenses
Extended wear lenses, the result of new technology in lens materials, transmit more oxygen to the cornea of the eye. Some of these lens materials can be worn up to 30 days, day and night, without removal. Extended wear lenses can last one week, two weeks, or one month, depending upon the lens material and your doctor’s recommendations. Risks of infection are about 10 times greater when people sleep in their contacts, suggesting caution.
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses
As the name implies, these lenses are hard and gas permeable. If you’ve been told you cannot wear soft lenses, RGP lenses are often a great alternative. RGP lenses are available in specialized designs to correct just about any vision disorder.
Hybrid lenses have a rigid gas permeable center bonded to a soft lens “skirt” around the outer edge. They offer the comfort of a soft lens combined with the clarity of a rigid lens. These specialty lenses, customized for each individual, can be a great problem solver for those who either don’t see well enough with soft lenses but can’t tolerate rigid lenses.
Overnight Ortho-K (Gentle Vision Shaping)
Ortho-K uses specialty right gas permeable retainer lenses to gently shape the cornea and correct your vision while you sleep. They have also been shown to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children and adolescents.
There are a variety of solutions available from many different manufacturers. The important thing to remember is that not every solution is right for every type of contact lens or for every individual. We recommend that you use the brands specified by your doctor.
Ready to find out if contact lenses can change YOUR life?
If you haven't had an exam lately, schedule your Annual Vision & Eye Health Exam. Once we have measured your eyes, be sure to tell us what areas of your life might be better with contact lenses and we'll find just the right fit for you. If you have had your Annual Eye Exam within the last year, feel free to schedule a free consultation to visit about your options.
Call us at 801-903-2711 to schedule an appointment OR Click here to request an appointment online.