Contact lenses can provide clearer and more convenient vision than glasses, but they can take some adjustment on your part. Picking the right kind of contact lenses can make the transition process as comfortable as possible. During a consultation for contacts, a specialist can help find the perfect fit for you.
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care in New York City, New York, we provide contact prescriptions of all different types to ensure you have the best vision possible. Here’s what you need to know about contact lens types.
Types of contact lenses
Generally speaking, there are two main types of contact lenses: hard and soft. You may need specialty lenses if you have badly impaired vision or physical deformity of the eye.
Soft lenses are the most common and tend to feel the most comfortable. If you’ve never worn contact lenses, soft lenses are recommended. Since they’re made of flexible materials, soft lenses require regular replacement. Depending on your lifestyle, you can purchase disposable, overnight, or extended wear lenses. Some lenses need to be removed and periodically cleaned and/or stored, while others are single use and can be discarded before bed.
Rigid, gas-permeable lenses, or hard lenses, are made of silicon polymers that allow air to pass through to the cornea. They retain shape well, but can be difficult to get used to and can sometimes lead to corneal ulcers if you don’t clean them properly and give your eyes breaks from lens wear on a regular schedule. However, if you have severe astigmatism or nearsightedness, hard lenses might provide clearer vision and require less frequent replacement than soft lenses.
In some cases, patients require specialty contact lenses to correct the shape and focus of the eye. If you suffer from moderate-to-severe astigmatism, toric contact lenses can provide more clarity.
Keratoconus, a condition that causes the cornea to bulge away from the eye, also requires special contact lenses. Scleral contact lenses cover the entire cornea, re-shaping the eye to improve your vision.
Finding the right fit
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care, our team can help you find the perfect prescription and fit for you.
First, we complete a visual acuity test to detect refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurred vision). Our team also checks for age-related, close-up vision loss, also known as presbyopia.
Next, we measure the surface of your eye to determine the size and shape of your lenses. Ill-fitting contacts are not only uncomfortable and can cause unclear vision, but they can also cause damage to your eye health over time.
Once our team has determined what types of lenses are appropriate, we will go over your options with you. Important factors to consider include how often you need to wear contact lenses, whether you can remember to remove them at night, and how often you can afford replacements.
Considering contact lenses? Need to update your prescription? Schedule a consultation by calling Harlem VistaSite Eye Care at 646-453-6506, or book an appointment online.