Finding the Right Specialty Contact Lenses

Many people would list their sight as their most precious sense, the one they couldn’t give up if they had to choose one to sacrifice. After all, your eyes allow you to experience art and color, play sports, look at loved ones’ faces, read, and more. 

If you’re one of the estimated 45 million Americans who wears contact lenses, you know how pivotal they are to experiencing your life and the world. It’s pretty miraculous — you just pop them in and see clearly and comfortably. It’s vital for you to know, however, that choosing the right lenses for you requires a medical professional’s expert guidance. 

From their office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Paul Tachau, OD, and Dwight Thibodeaux, OD, have discussed the wide array of contact lenses that Accent Vision Specialists offers with countless patients and, in the process, created die-hard lens loyalists who wouldn’t consider any other corrective vision option. 

Our team of contact lens specialists knows that you need to be educated in order to make an informed choice about your lenses, and we’re here to do just that. 

A world of contact lens choices

We’re happy to walk you through the many specialized lenses available including options for those whose eyes are difficult to fit for lenses. Here’s a brief rundown:

Monovision lenses 

These lenses even out your vision by providing each eye with a different prescriptive strength. At midlife, you may start to hold reading materials farther away. Monovision lenses correct this problem by assigning one lens that enhances your near vision in one eye and another that improves your distance vision for the other eye. 

Multifocal lenses 

These lenses go a step further than monovision lenses; they correct both your near and distance vision in both eyes, which offers clearer sight as compared to monovision lenses and better peripheral vision than glasses. These lenses offer more than one prescription in each lens, like wearing progressive lens glasses.

Astigmatic lenses 

These lenses address astigmatism, a common problem where the front surface, or interior, of your eye has a curvature which affects your sight. Astigmatic toric lenses correct this problem specifically. You can choose from gas permeable (GP), hard contact lenses you wear day after day, or soft lenses, but each conforms to your eye’s uneven surface. Each also has its own pros and cons, and your doctor discusses them with you so you can arrive at the right choice. 

Medically necessary lenses

Insurance companies consider glasses to be the primary coverable vision correction option and contact lenses a non-essential cosmetic one. However, medically necessary lenses are those that correct certain vision problems to an established standard that glasses cannot. These problems include extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness and other complex eye conditions or injury-related issues. 

Scleral contact lenses 

These lenses are larger than standard lenses and sit on top of not just your iris but your sclera (the white part of your eye). They offer comfort, as fluid stops them from making contact with your corneas, and they stay in place well. For some patients, these are the only option for vision correction, due to their particular condition, eye shape, or even the negative impacts of past surgery. 

Cosmetic lenses 

These lenses offer no visual enhancement, but are simply used to change the color or look of your iris. For example, there are lenses that make your eyes look spooky for Halloween by giving your irises a sci-fi, otherworldly look. 

Problem is, many of these types of lenses are sold without an optometrist’s oversight and have caused serious infection and even vision loss. If you’re interested in these, talk to Dr. Tachau or Dr. Thibodeaux first!

Other options

We carry specialty lenses like the SynergEyes® specialty brand of lenses that offer excellent scleral lens solutions, and piggyback options where you wear a hard contact lens over a soft one to address keratoconus (when your cornea thins and develops a conical bulge) and the vision problems it causes. 

We also offer an innovative corneal treatment called corneal refractive therapy, a temporary nonsurgical way to correct nearsightedness that involves reshaping your cornea while you sleep. The Paragon CRT® system features therapeutic lenses that do their work while you rest, and you remove them when you awaken — to better vision and reduced dry eye irritation.

Since lens choices are so vast, know that our doctors examine your vision history and your eyes very carefully so your contact lenses will be tailored to your eyes and needs. 

Proper lens care is vital

No matter what type of contact lenses you opt for, it’s very important to care for them properly, as bad contact lens hygiene can result in infections and other complications. When you’re making decisions about which lenses are right for you, your doctor summarizes the care that each type of lens requires. 

To schedule a consultation to investigate your best contact lens options, call our office today or reach out to us online.

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