Contact lenses are a popular alternative to eyeglasses for correcting vision issues. Yet, not all contact lenses are equal. Several types of contacts are available, each addressing various types of vision problems or providing unique features. Below is a closer look at how specialty contacts differ from traditional contacts.
Specialty contact lenses may not be as widely available as traditional contacts. They may require a prescription from a specialist. These lenses may not be available in all optometry or optical stores.
Traditional lenses made of a soft, flexible plastic material allow for easy eye movement and comfort. Specialty lenses made from various materials, including silicone hydrogel, allow more oxygen to reach the eye. So, you can wear them for more extended periods.
Scleral lenses are a type of specialty contact lens. They are ideal for people with irregular corneas or severe dry eyes. Regular contacts may not be suitable for these conditions.
Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera. They provide a smooth, even surface for light to pass through which reduces glare and halos. They also provide a more comfortable fit for people with irregular corneas or dry eyes.
Specialty contacts may have specific care instructions that differ from traditional lenses. For example, scleral lenses may need special cleaning and disinfection solutions. You must follow the care instructions for specialty contacts to prevent eye infections or other complications. That will also ensure their longevity.
Power range is the ability of specialty contacts to correct specific vision problems. Specialty lenses can have a power range higher or lower than regular contacts. That will depend on the design and the particular vision problem they aim to address.
The purpose of traditional lenses is to correct refractive errors. These include nearsightedness or farsightedness. Specialty contacts fix specific vision problems, such as astigmatism, presbyopia, or keratoconus.
Manufacturers of specialized contacts can design them to change the eye's shape. For example, orthokeratology lenses are specialty contacts designed to temporarily reshape the cornea. The aim is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts.
Specialty contact lenses have a different replacement schedule than conventional lenses. Some are disposable and require daily, weekly, or monthly replacement. You can wear others for extended periods and may only need replacement every few months or years.
Specialty contact lenses can be more expensive than traditional contacts. The cost can vary with the lens type and the replacement schedule. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of specialty contacts, while others may not.
Fitting for specialty contacts can be more complex than a regular lens fitting. They may need extra measurements and evaluations to ensure a proper fit.
Specialty contacts are an excellent option for individuals with specific vision problems. Yet, they may be more expensive and less comfortable than traditional contacts. Furthermore, the fitting process can be more complex. Consult a licensed eye doctor to determine if specialty contacts are right for you.
For more on information on specialty contact lenses, call Inland Family Optometry at our offices in Rancho Cucamonga or Chino, California. Call (909) 345-6100 (Rancho Cucamonga) or (909) 345-9809 (Chino) to schedule an appointment today.