header shadow image Glasses and Contacts section image Glasses and Contacts section image

Many patients enjoy the freedom and visual appeal of contact lenses. At the UEC, we provide care from beginning to end for patients seeking contact lenses.

summary separator
 

Contact Lenses

After a comprehensive eye examination and evaluation of suitability for contact lens wear, the doctors and practitioners at the UEC provide the lenses, necessary lens care kits, individual instructions for wear and care and unlimited follow-up visits over a specified period of time. The initial visit and examination takes about an hour.

We offer a variety of contact lens options for our patients. There are options for almost everyone, including those with astigmatism and dry eyes. Some of the contact lenses we provide include:

Gas-Permeable (GP)
Made of slightly flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes.

Pros:
• Excellent vision
• Short adaptation period
• Comfortable to wear
• Correct most vision problems
• Easy to insert and to care for
• Durable with a relatively long life
• Available in tints (for handling purposes) and multifocals

Cons:
• Require consistent wear to maintain adaptation
• Can slip off center of the eye more easily than other types
• Debris can more easily get under the lenses
• Require office visits for follow-up care

Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastic that allows oxygen to pass through to the eyes. There are many options with soft lenses including: daily wear, extended wear (which can be left in the eye for up to a week) and continuous wear (can be left in the eye for up to a month.) They can be disposed of on a daily, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or even yearly basis depending on what your doctor thinks is best for your eyes. Most new lenses are made from silicone hydrogel materials that allow significantly more oxygen to reach the cornea than conventional soft lenses do for greater wearing comfort.

Pros:
• Very short adaptation period
• More comfortable and more difficult to dislodge than GP lenses
• Available in tints and bifocals
• Available in corrections for astigmatism, multifocal, colors or many combinations
• Great for active lifestyles

Cons:
• Does not correct all vision problems
• Vision may not be as sharp as with GP lenses
• Require regular office visits for follow-up care

Corneal Refractive Therapy
Traditionally called orthokeratology, corneal refractive therapy is a non-surgical process clinically developed to reshape the cornea while you sleep. The result is the temporary correction of myopia with or without moderate astigmatism. These specially designed gas permeable lenses gently reshape the corneal surface during sleep to provide clear, natural vision when the lenses are removed upon waking. This technology offers freedom from glasses and the hassle of wearing contact lenses during the day. Active individuals can freely participate in sports without the interference of glasses or contacts. Eye irritation and dryness, sometimes associated with contact lens wear due to outside dust and pollutants, are also eliminated since these lenses are worn only at night.

Colored Contact Lenses
Colored contact lenses come in three kinds: visibility tints, enhancement tints and opaque color tints. A visibility tint is usually a light blue or green tint added to a lens just to help you see it better during insertion and removal or if you drop it. Since it’s a very light tint, it does not affect eye color. An enhancement tint is a solid, but translucent (see-through) tint that is a little darker than a visibility tint. An enhancement tint does not change your eye color. As the name implies, it is meant to enhance the existing color of your eyes. These types of tints are usually best for people who have light-colored eyes and want to make their eye color more intense. Color tints are deeper, opaque tints that can change your eye color completely. Usually they are made of patterns of solid colors. If you have dark eyes, you’ll need this type of color contact lens to change your eye color. Color contacts come in a wide variety of colors, including hazel, green, blue, violet, amethyst and gray. Many colored contact lenses are available in no-prescription form, as well as in designs for people who have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or need a bifocal. Most of these lenses are in a disposable format, but conventional (yearly) lenses are also available.

Cosmetic Iris Lenses
Cosmetic iris lenses are for those patients who want to cover up a diseased or damaged eye or for producing special effects. These contact lenses can be soft or rigid and are painted to match the patient’s normal eye or for a desired effect.

Contact Lens Options for Aging Eyes

Many people facing middle age are trying to avoid one of the two telltale signs of aging: bifocals or reading glasses. Fortunately, there are several manufacturers that offer bifocal or multifocal contact lenses. These lenses come in both soft and gas permeable materials and can be used on a disposable (even daily) or planned replacement basis. Some of these lenses combine the correction for astigmatism as well. Most new designs are made from silicone hydrogel materials that allow significantly more oxygen to reach the cornea than conventional soft lenses for greater wearing comfort.

There are three main contact lens designs for correcting the close-up blurred vision that typically begins in middle age, a condition referred to as presbyopia:

Bifocal Contact Lenses/Simultaneous Vision/Concentric Rings
With simultaneous vision bifocals, you look through both the reading and distance portions of the lenses all the time. This means that whenever you look at an object, you see two images of it. One will be clear (from the portion of the lens most matched to the distance at which you are observing). The other will be blurred (from the other portion of the lens). Your brain learns to ignore the blurred image so that you see the other image clearly.

Translating Bifocal Contact Lenses
Translating bifocals are similar in concept to bifocal eyeglass lenses. When you look down to read, the thicker lower edge of the contact lens rests on the lower lid. Your eye is then looking through the reading portion of the lens. In fact, even though they “translate” a portion of vision, this type of bifocal is simultaneous. Bifocal contact lenses normally work best in bright conditions. Because these lenses divide the light into two images, each of which will use about half of the available light, you may find that seeing is more difficult in dimly lit conditions with bifocal contact lenses. Driving at night, for example, may be more difficult.

Monovision
Monovision is a treatment in which one eye is fit with a lens for seeing things at a distance and the other eye is fit for seeing close up. After a period of adjustment, the brain switches to the eye which gives the clearest image at the time. Typically, monovision has a higher success rate than bifocal lenses. While monovision is successfully used by many people, others find it difficult to adapt. Mildly blurred vision, dizziness, headaches and a feeling of slight imbalance may last for a few minutes or up to several weeks as you adapt. Generally, the longer these symptoms last, the more unlikely it is that you will adapt successfully. Eye care practitioners urge patients using monovision to avoid visually demanding situations at first and instead to wear their new lenses only in familiar situations. For example, it may be better to be a passenger rather than a driver in a car. In fact, you should only drive with monovision correction if you can pass your driver’s license eye examination while wearing those lenses.

Reading Glasses
Reading glasses are still a good option. They can be worn discreetly, as needed, over your contact lenses which correct your vision for distance. They will provide the magnification you need.