Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nobody wears hard contact lenses anymore!!!!!!!!

Nobody wears hard contact lenses anymore....right?   Whoa there horsey!  While many patients and the general public think that hard lenses are a thing of the past, this is definitely not the case.  Hard lenses in their new form, rigid gas permeable contact lenses, are still a viable alternative for many types of vision corrections.  They are terrific for those that want the sharpest vision possible, those that have astigmatism, those that have irregular corneas, post Lasik and refractive surgery patients, and those that want to actually improve their vision through corneal molding or Orthokeratology. 

It is true that it takes a little more time to adjust to rigid gas permeable contacts lenses.  When they are fitted correctly, the adjustment is very short and the lenses become very comfortable after adaptation.  There are many other advantages to rigid gas permeable contact lenses.  They last a long time.  The average life span of a rigid gas permeable lens is about two years.  In addition, if the lenses develop some scratches on the surface, these scratches can be polished out.  The lenses are less subject to prescription changes than are soft lenses.  Unlike soft lenses that correct astigmatism, the blinking of the eyes does not generally affect the clarity of the vision with "gas perms".  Gas perms are also terrific for multifocal applications.  It is also possible to adjust the fitting characteristics of "gas perms".  This is becoming a "lost art".  Doctors that are comfortable with adjusting "gas perms" can make the edges thinner, add power, loosen the lenses, make the lenses smaller, etc.  No way is this possible with soft lenses. 
It is very common in our office to modify rigid gas permeable lenses to fine turn both the vision and the fitting characteristics of the lenses.  This allows us to adjust the lenses to the finest fitting possible.

So, are rigid gas permeable contacts (gas perms) the best lenses for all patients?  I would definitely say "Maybe!".  Each case is different, but "gas perms" are  an excellent alternative for those patients that could best benefit from their unique characteristics. 

Be sure to ask your eye doctor if "gas perms" would be a good choice for you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at jon@villageeyes.com

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