The field of optometry changes quickly, and more patients are now able to enjoy the flexibility of wearing contact lenses to correct their vision than ever before.
Contact lenses come in several “types” that doctors like to call modalities. Nearly any prescription or eye shape can be fit in one contact lens modality or another.
- Soft contact lenses are a common substitute for wearing glasses and have a wide range of powers to suit most people in most cases. This is likely the best lens option for you and should be your doctor’s first choice in contact lens correction.
- Rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) contact lenses are an option that often provides the sharpest vision for eyes that have high levels of astigmatism or unique eye shapes due to eye diseases like keratoconus.
- Multifocal contact lenses can come in either soft or rigid materials, and offer specific visual benefits that other contact lenses may not. For example, Bifocal contact lenses are an option to correct vision issues that develop with age (presbyopia). So is monovision, which is a special technique where one eye corrects for distance vision and the other eye corrects for near vision.
- Cosmetic contact lenses are a form of soft contact lenses that allows you to change eye color. Occasionally, you can find cosmetic contact lenses for sale illegally without a prescription. Without the important step in fitting your eye with an appropriate cosmetic contact lens, you may compromise your eye health significantly and may even cause damage that limits your vision indefinitely.
- Specialty contact lenses are designed to resolve vision problems in eyes that are prohibited from wearing the more common soft or rigid contact lenses. This field is where the most contact lens innovation occurs and the benefits of these specialty contact lenses are best described on a case by case basis with your doctor.
In addition to the selection of lens material, there is also the option to select an appropriate contact lenses disposal schedule. Depending on the brand, the FDA has approved contact lens modalities for disposal at different frequencies: daily, weekly, monthly, or more.
For various reasons, a daily disposable lens is ideal for eye health and your doctor will likely suggest this option as a first choice. Suitable biweekly or monthly options do exist, however, and your doctor can evaluate your eye shape and visual needs to help you select the healthiest contact lens option that will also suit your wallet!
As you can probably tell by all of these options, a contact lens fitting with a Doctor of Optometry is essential to ensure good comfort, fit, and vision when wearing your contact lenses. These examinations have are even more important purpose – to prevent any eye health complications that may arise from improper contact lens wear.
Our contact lens exams include questions about your lifestyle and your preferences for the various contact lens corrections options available to you. It includes several contact lens fitting measurements, an eye health exam to determine suitability for contact lens products, and any number of follow up visits to check the vision, comfort, and fit, of your sample diagnostic contact lenses.
Scheduling these contact lens exams for the same time as your general eye exam will save you time and money. Purchasing your contact lenses through an appropriate eye care provider is the only way to ensure you are getting exactly what the eye doctor prescribed. And due to contact lens rebates, purchasing your contact lenses through an eye doctor’s office is also the best way to ensure you are getting the best deal on contact lens purchases!
If you are considering a contact lens fitting or would like information on which contact lens is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out!