Until recently many of those with vision problems such as severe astigmatism, irregular corneas or keratoconus either could not be fitted with contact lenses,got limited results or were forced to wear uncomfortable or only partially effective lenses. Contact lenses have been around for many years. So has the automobile, but modern cars are much better and safer than early autos, which were for the intrepid, wealthy and mechanically inclined. As in the auto world the contact lens world now has many technologies which greatly improve on older solutions.
What’s New in Contact Lens Technology?
For many previously problematic conditions specialty custom contact lenses are now available. They require expert diagnosis and fitting, which is a vital part of the vision health services performed by Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs. Keratoconus, a relatively common eye disease, involves thinning and steepening of the cornea. The cornea is crucial to visual focus, and irregularity of the cornea causes blurred vision and distortion. Mild forms of keratoconus may be helped with properly designed and fitted glasses or soft contact lenses. Progressive forms of the condition require something newer and more effective. Highly irregular corneas are caused by a number of things, including keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration and post-surgical conditions which can sometimes arise from radial keratotomy and Lasik surgery.
Recent innovations in soft lenses such as the Kerasoft™ IC, newer types of rigid gas permeable contact lenses, hybrid contacts and scleral lenses are great improvements over older treatments. Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs is the first and only provider in Southern Colorado to offer Kerasoft™ IC. Kerasoft™ IC is a new and life-changing lens for management of keratoconus and irregular corneas.
- SynergEyes A is a hybrid contact lens, FDA-cleared and specifically designed for patients with high astigmatism, irregular corneas or early-stage keratoconus. SynergEyes A hybrid lens technology give clearer vision without the potential discomfort of hard contact lenses.
- SynergEyes KC is the first hybrid contact lens with FDA clearance which is specifically designed for keratoconus patients.
- SynergEyes PS is a hybrid contact designed to offer comfort and vision correction after surgery when conventional lenses cannot be used.
What are Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses?
Unlike soft lenses, RGP lenses are rigid, which allows the lens function without distorting vision, which can happen when the lens shapes itself to irregular corneas such as are found in astigmatism and keratoconus patients. This also helps in creating a layer of tears between the lens and cornea, functionally lessening the optical distortion from the irregular shape of the cornea.
What are Hybrid Contact Lenses?
Hybrid contact lenses are considerably larger than conventional lenses, with a soft silicone hydrogel skirt and a rigid gas permeable center. The skirt rests on the cornea, enhancing comfort and security. The rigid gas permeable center is arched over the cornea, lowering the risk of corneal scarring and making the lens a healthy treatment option for ketatoconus patients. The skirt also helps keep dirt and particulates from getting under the lens itself. The pairing of a rigid gas permeable center and a soft skirt can give patients a good combination of better vision, safety and comfort.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are a new type of rigid gas permeable lens which rests on the sclera or white portion of the eye. Scleral lenses are much larger than ordinary RGPs, which provide vision improvement but also require skilled precise fitting of the level provided by Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs. Because scleral contacts, like hybrids, vault the surface of the cornea they can be more comfortable for those with keratoconus and, unlike ordinary gas permeable lenses, fit with very little movement during blinks. They are also effective for those patients with severe dry eyes or those who have had cornea transplants.
How do I know Which Lens is Best for Me?
This is important and is best answered by a visit with trained eye care specialists like Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs. Choosing from the wide range of great improvements over older lens types requires expertise and attention to patient needs. An improperly chosen or fitted lens can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods and can blur vision. Incorrect or ill-fitting lenses can be glare-prone,inconsistent and uncomfortable to wear. Expert care, knowledge and experience can give you clearer, safer and more comfortable vision and Eye Care Center of Colorado specializes in exactly that.