What Are Different Specialty Contact Lenses Used For?

January 16, 2023

Most people think that all contact lenses are similar. But if you are a contact lens wearer, you know the many differences between them. They may have a similar design and shape, but they have different uses.

Contact lenses were unsuitable for some vision problems and eyes for a long time. Fortunately, specialty contacts emerged to suit the needs of people who want to wear contacts but cannot.

Specialty contacts are ideal for corneal and eye problems that traditional contact lenses may not suit. Unfortunately, regular contact lenses cannot fit some eyes. Not everyone has cornea shapes that fit conventional contacts. Some conditions, like dry eye, can also make wearing traditional contacts uncomfortable. Read on to learn about the different specialty contact lenses and their uses.

Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses


Doctors often recommend gas-permeable contact lenses for patients with dry eyes. The material making the lenses enables adequate oxygen to pass through your cornea. As a result, the eyes do not dry out fast and remain comfortable. 

The rigidity of the contacts helps maintain the shape of your cornea as you wear them. That’s how they help with corneal abnormalities.

Scleral Contact Lenses 


Scleral contacts do not sit directly on the cornea like conventional contact lenses—they leave a gap between the lens and your cornea. Their diameter is also larger.

Scleral lenses address issues that make wearing conventional contact lenses impossible or impractical. The space allows patients with surgical scarring and corneal abnormalities to be comfortable. It also helps improve dry eye symptoms by acting as a tear film reservoir to keep your eye surface moist and lubricated.

Limbal Fit Contact Lenses


Limbal fit contacts fall between scleral and gas-permeable lenses in diameter. On average, they are large enough to help with their stability on your eye surface. Limbal lenses ensure visual clarity and comfort as they do not interfere with your eyelids.

Orthokeratology Contact Lenses


Orthokeratology lenses are unique for every patient. They are comfortable to wear overnight to help with vision correction and slow down the progression of myopia. The lenses reshape your cornea while you sleep to help you see when you remove them in the morning.

Patients who use orthokeratology contact lenses do not rely on daytime contacts. They wear them every night while sleeping and remove them in the morning to continue their daily activities. These lenses help avert complications that arise due to severe myopia. They slow its progression to prevent problems such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Toric Lenses


Toric lenses help maintain clear vision by sitting in the proper position of your eye. They correct astigmatism and other refractive problems that come with it. Finding the right toric lenses can take time, as everyone has unique eyes. Hence, you may have to try many lenses to get the right one to correct your astigmatism.

Multifocal Lenses


Patients can correct multiple vision problems with multifocal contact lenses. They can help with issues such as presbyopia and myopia. 

Multifocal contacts work like bifocal glasses. The lens comprises different materials to correct your vision problems.

Hybrid Lenses


Hybrid lenses have a soft skirt draping over the whites of your eyes and a rigid gas-permeable lens center. They combine rigid and soft lens materials. 

These specialty lenses offer comforts like soft lenses and the vision benefits of rigid gas-permeable lenses.

For more about specialty contact lenses, visit Eye Associates of New York at our office in Midtown East, New York. Call (212) 650-4888 to book an appointment today.

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