New Advances and Options in Contact Lens Technology

Along with advances in other areas of technology, the 21st century has seen huge advances in contact lens technologies. Lenses that are healthier, thinner, more comfortable, easier to care for, work with dry eyes and provide vision for difficult prescriptions have flooded the market in recent years. Even hard lenses are more comfortable thanks to these advances. If you have tried contact lenses more than 5 years ago and were unsuccessful it might be time to revisit the newer technologies with your optometrist.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (Orthokeratology)
An alternative to LASIK and other surgical methods of correcting vision, Corneal Refractive Therapy (Orthokeratology or Ortho-K) offers people a non-surgical method of achieving vision without contact lenses or glasses while awake. A special lens is fitted for the eye which the patient sleeps in, and upon awakening removes. Most people are able to go for at least one day without contacts or glasses after sleeping in the lens. Doctors should be careful not to offer this therapy as a solution to vision problems, it is only a temporary non-surgical alternative to glasses and contact lenses. Not every doctor fits Ortho-k, so be sure to ask. Ortho-K is gaining in popularity in the US and is already popular overseas. If you are bothered by annual changes in your eyeglass and contact lens prescription or are concerned that your vision is worsening, OrthoK may be the solution for you.  OrthoK in many cases temporarily reverses significant amounts of myopia and astigmatism and in most cases people who wear their OrthoK devices while asleep can go contact lens and eyeglass free with excellent vision during waking hours! OrthoK is the only way doctors know that can reduce the rate of change of your eyeglass prescription and in some cases stabilize your eyeglass prescription. Click this link to view studies that have shown a positive effect in stabilizing worsening vision.

Multifocal Contact Lenses for distance and reading vision issues

If you are on the far side of 40, you are probably finding that reading the phone book or newspaper is suddenly a chore. Welcome to middle age, and a condition called Presbyopia. Presbyopia, a type of farsightedness inevitable with aging, is caused by the gradual changes in the lens within the eye. It becomes less able to change shape, preventing us from focusing on close objects. Most people become aware of deteriorating close vision in their mid-40’s. Many people turn to inexpensive reading glasses, but it’s important to have regular eye exams. Prescription reading glasses and bifocals allow a close-up correction giving the best possible vision for close, but many are bothered by the tell tale line in a bifocal. Contact lenses offer several options for the correction of Presbyopia, including Multi-focal contact lenses, Bifocal contact lenses and Mono-vision. Multi-focal and Bi-focal contact lenses generally are without lines, and there is very little adaptation, unlike multi-focal and bi-focal eyeglass lenses. They are exceptionally difficult to fit from the doctor’s standpoint, so be patient as you may visit your doctor several times during your fitting to achieve maximal vision. Most patient’s are extremely pleased with their multifocal contact lenses if fit properly, and leave the office seeing better at near immediately. These lenses are even good for people who have never worn contacts before, so be sure you find a qualified eye doctor to prescribe them.  Researchers have achieved success with new designs of Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses. These newer soft (often available as disposable) contact lenses provide patients with distance, intermediate and near vision and has proven to be much more successful than bifocal contact lens predecessors if fit properly. In the past, bifocal contact lenses were successful in less than 40 percent of patients who tried to wear them. They also were prohibitively expensive and in many cases would end up on the medicine shelf after weeks or months of wearing attempts. The new class of Multifocal lenses are comfortable, easy to use and adapt to and are relatively inexpensive. The patient has it easy with these lenses; adaptation is fast. . . the doctor must spend time analyzing the prescription to maximize vision with the lens. The new Multifocal lens designs can give you your young eyes back! No more one eye near, one eye far (monovision) – this is the real deal and they work!

Limbal and Scleral Lenses – a new, comfortable substitute for hard and gas permeable contacts

Although the standard “hard lens” introduced in the 1950’s are still around, newer materials developed have made these lenses virtually obsolete. RGP lenses are made of special, firm plastics suited for the transmission of oxygen and other gasses necessary to maintain eye health. These lenses are very durable and typically last longer than soft lenses, sometimes more than 2 years. RGP lenses offer crisper vision than soft and are often preferred by people with high myopia, astigmatism or other hard-to-fit contact lens patient’s. Historically they have taken a while to get used to, regular wearers find them comfortable and the visual acuity outstanding. Problems with these lenses include tolerance in dusty environments. Large diameter lenses are the latest technological advancement in the gas permeable lens arena. The larger lenses provide the excellent vision favored by those who wear gas permeable contact lenses while achieving much greater comfort for the user than their smaller counterparts. They also are able to retain their high level of oxygen permeability. They are known as Limbal and/or Scleral lenses.

Courtesy of the Doctors at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians working together to help you see better.  Serving the Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. For more information visit or call (301) 670-1212 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (301) 670-1212      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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Copyright 2009 – Dr. Alan N. Glazier, Optometrist P.A. All rights reserved


4 Responses

  1. […] View original post here: New Advances and Options in Contact Lens Technology « EyeInfo's Blog […]

  2. A lot of of folks write about this topic but you wrote down some true words!!

  3. Good read, will recomend to my friends. Thankyou.

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