If you wear contact lenses, you know how important they are for correcting your vision and improving your quality of life. However, not all contact lenses are created equal. Specialty contact lenses are designed for people with specific eye conditions or vision needs, and can offer a range of benefits over traditional corrective lenses. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of wearing specialty contact lenses and provide tips for choosing the right lenses for your needs.
Benefits of Specialty Contact Lenses
Specialty contact lenses offer a range of benefits over traditional corrective lenses, including:
- Improved vision correction: Specialty contact lenses are designed to correct specific vision problems, such as astigmatism or presbyopia, or in the case of corneal injuries or irregularly shaped corneas (such as Keratoconus or Pellucid Marginal Degeneration). This can lead to sharper and clearer vision, and reduce the need for additional vision aids, such as reading glasses.
- Reduced eye strain and discomfort: Specialty contact lenses can reduce eye strain and discomfort, especially for people with dry eyes or those who spend long hours in front of a computer screen. They can also help reduce glare and improve contrast sensitivity, making it easier to see in low-light conditions.
- Better fitting options for irregular corneas: Some people have irregularly shaped corneas, which can make it difficult to find contact lenses that fit properly. Specialty contact lenses, such as scleral lenses, can provide a more comfortable and stable fit for people with these types of corneas.
- Improved aesthetics: Specialty contact lenses can also improve the appearance of the eyes. For example, colored contact lenses can enhance the natural color of the eyes or provide a dramatic new look. Additionally, specialty lenses can be customized to match the shape and color of the eyes, leading to a more natural and seamless appearance. Cosmetic lenses can be custom made to hide many types of eye injuries.
- Improved vision for specific activities: Specialty contact lenses can be designed to meet the specific visual needs of certain activities, such as sports or driving. For example, toric lenses can provide better vision during outdoor activities, while multifocal lenses can improve vision for reading or other close-up tasks.
Types of Specialty Contact Lenses
There are several types of specialty contact lenses available, including:
- Scleral contact lenses: These lenses are designed to vault over the cornea and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). They provide a more stable and comfortable fit for people with irregular corneas, dry eyes, or other eye conditions.
- Hybrid contact lenses: These lenses have a rigid center and a soft outer ring, providing the benefits of both types of lenses. They can be a good option for people with high astigmatism or irregular corneas.
- Rigid gas permeable contact lenses: These lenses are made of a firm plastic material that allows oxygen to pass through to the eyes. They provide crisp and clear vision, and can be a good option for people with high prescriptions or certain eye conditions.
- Toric contact lenses: These lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, a common condition that causes blurry vision at all distances. They are available in both soft and rigid materials.
- Multifocal contact lenses: These lenses are designed to correct presbyopia, a common condition that causes blurry vision up close as a result of aging. They are available in both soft and rigid materials, and can be used by people who are also nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
How to Care for Specialty Contact Lenses
Caring for your specialty contact lenses is essential for maintaining healthy eyes and ensuring the longevity of your lenses. Here are some tips for caring for your lenses:
- Wash your hands before handling your lenses.
- Follow the instructions provided by your optometrist or lens manufacturer for cleaning and disinfecting your lenses.
- Avoid wearing your lenses overnight, unless specifically approved by your optometrist.
- Replace your lenses according to the schedule recommended by your optometrist.
- Avoid exposing your lenses to water or other liquids, as this can lead to bacterial growth.
- Speak to your optometrist if you experience any discomfort or changes in vision while wearing your lenses.
Specialty contact lenses can offer a range of benefits over traditional corrective lenses, including improved vision correction, reduced eye strain and discomfort, better fitting options for irregular corneas, improved aesthetics, and improved vision for specific activities. If you're interested in trying specialty contact lenses, speak to your optometrist about your options and how to care for your lenses properly.
By following best practices and staying vigilant with your lens care, you can enjoy the many benefits of specialty contact lenses and maintain healthy eyes for years to come.