After a thorough eye examination and evaluation of suitability for contact lens wear, optometrists and experts at the UEC provide the lenses, necessary lens care kits, individual instructions for wear and care and unlimited follow-up visits over a specified time. The initial visit and examination takes about an hour or longer.
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:
Made of slightly flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes.
• 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
• 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 (left in the eye up to seven days) and continuous wear (left in the eye up to 30 days). They can be thrown out on a daily, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis depending on what your eye 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.
• 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.
• Do 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 change your eye color. As the name implies, it’s 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 for acting purposes. 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 in dimly lit conditions, seeing is more difficult with bifocal contact lenses. Driving at night may be more difficult, for example.
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 for 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 new to 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 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Contact Lenses
Is my contact lens prescription the same as my eyeglass prescription?
No. A contact lens prescription not only includes the power, but also the size, curvature and the type of material of the contact lens. The power of the contact lens may be different from the power of your eyeglasses.
Can I change the color of my eyes?
Yes. Soft contact lenses come in a variety of colors to enhance or change the natural color of your eyes.
I’ve been told that I can no longer wear contact lenses because of allergies. Is there anything new for me?
Yes. Certain contact lens materials and solutions are designed to minimize the symptoms of contact lens-related allergies.
Would disposable contact lenses be good for me?
Disposable or planned replacement contact lenses are lenses that are worn for a certain number of days and then discarded. They may be worn on a daily or overnight schedule. As recommended by your doctor, these lenses can be replaced daily, weekly or monthly. One complication of conventional contact lens wear is an allergic reaction to deposits which build up on the lens over time. By replacing your lenses frequently, there is no discomfort from long-term deposit buildup.
I wear contact lenses. How often should my eyes be examined?
Although your contact lenses are comfortable and your vision is clear, periodic visits are required to ensure optimal eye health. If your contact lenses are worn overnight, your eyes may require visits on a more frequent basis.
I have worn contact lenses in the past, but my eyes were sensitive to solutions. Is there anything new?
Yes. There are many different types of contact lens solutions, some of which may be comfortable for you. In addition, one-day disposable contact lenses are now available. They eliminate the need for any solutions.
I used to wear hard contact lenses. Can I wear soft contact lenses?
With the advances made in soft contact lenses, many eye conditions which were previously only corrected by hard contact lenses may now be corrected with soft contact lenses.
Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
There is an increased risk of infections and complications with overnight wear. However, your doctor can minimize these risks by fitting you with contact lenses specifically designed for overnight wear. Proper follow-up care is necessary to maintain eye health.