Originally developed in 1888, contact lenses have a longer history of proven success than most people realize. Becoming especially popular during the last few decades, 24 million Americans have discovered what a wonderful alternative contact lenses are to a traditional pair of eyeglasses.
Besides the obvious benefits of enhancing visual acuity and appearance, contact lenses also improve the performance of visual tasks related to sports and other activities. In addition, they require very little maintenance and are much less cumbersome than glasses.
With recent advancement in technology, contact lenses have become practical for virtually anyone whose vision may be impaired. However, it is important to remember that contact lenses are medical devices that require expert fitting, careful instruction and follow-up care. A trained eye-care professional should administer these services.
Bifocal Contact Lenses
There are numerous bifocal contact lenses available today. Which type to fit depends on your needs and your prescription. All bifocal contacts will have some visual compromise. You are unlikely to have 20/20 vision at both distance and near. In addition, bifocal contacts are very specialized lenses that require careful fitting and numerous follow-up visits. Bifocal contacts work very well for some people. Chances of success increase if you realize that the fitting process can be long and involved.
Eye exam and fittings
The Eye Exam
Before you can actually be fitted for contact lenses, you must have a complete eye examination to determine the overall health of your eyes. This exam will help us determine which lens material and design is most appropriate for you.
Because a thorough examination often requires the use of eye drops, the actual contact lens fitting may need to be scheduled separately.
Your optimal vision and comfort are the two most important things we consider when the fitting process begins. Without one or the other, contact lenses can often become a burden instead of a relief. That’s why, in some cases, additional visits may be required to make the proper adjustments.
Wide varieties of types, styles, materials, sizes and colors are available to contact lens wearers. Your eye care professional will discuss the options which make the most sense for you.
Some standard lenses are stocked and available the same day as your fitting session, while other contact lenses need to be ordered and may take up to a week to arrive.
If your contact lenses are available the day of your fitting, you will be taught insertion, removal and care techniques at that time. If not, we will call you when your lenses arrive to schedule a training session.
Monovision is where one eye is corrected for far away vision and the other eye is corrected for near vision. This is a very successful option for many people. It can affect depth perception and is not an option for people with “lazy eye” or amblyopia. Monovision involves no specialized fitting techniques because regular standard contacts (soft or rigid gas permeable) are used and power adjustments are made. The cost for monovision is the same as any regular fitting.
Presbyopia is a condition that affects practically everyone in their mid-forties. Symptoms include difficulty seeing fine print, fatigue with reading, and arms that no longer seem long enough. It is a natural aging process that occurs because the lens inside the eye no longer focuses well enough to adjust the eye for close distances. It should be noted that this is a condition that occurs with your best distance glasses on. Some nearsighted people may be able to remove their glasses to read.
Contact lenses can be worn with presbyopia, however, they are more complicated to fit. There are options available to presbyopic patients. You should realize that all of the options present some compromise in vision and none will restore vision to how it was before the onset of presbyopia.