Specialty Contact Lens Fittings

The Right Contacts with the Right Fit

To be fitted for contact lenses, special tests are conducted that are not performed during a routine annual eye exam, but a contact lens fitting can be scheduled at the same time as your annual comprehensive eye exam. During the contact lens fitting, Dr. Kara will assess how the contact lenses are resting on the surface of your eyes and determine if any changes need to be made. At the conclusion of the fitting, Dr. Kara will provide trial contact lenses for you to try out for a few days.

Our goal is to provide recommendations for contact lenses that help you see clearly and feel comfortable to wear. If you are new to contact lenses, additional training sessions may be needed.

Scleral Contact Lenses 

Scleral Contact Lenses are oversized hard contacts that are used to help patients with corneal disorders (such as keratoconus) and many other eye diseases see more clearly and comfortably. These lenses are large enough to rest on the sclera of the eye (the white part) and extend over the cornea without touching it. Standard contact lenses sit directly on the cornea are much more uncomfortable when used by anyone with an irregularly shaped cornea and may cause excessive eye dryness. The sclera is much less sensitive compared to the cornea, making these contacts more comfortable for patients with eye issues, including dry eye and ocular surface disease.

Scleral Contact Lenses are customized to the shape of each eye.  Precise corneal contour mapping is done using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to ensure a proper fit of the lenses. There is a small gap between the lens and cornea. This gap is filled with a lens solution that acts as a liquid barrier and can help treat patients with severe dry eye issues.

Scleral Contact Lenses can help provide more comfortable and clear vision for patients with normal vision as well as those with irregular corneas caused by the following:

  • Keratoconus
  • Corneal transplant
  • Trauma to the eye

These lenses can also help those patients with dryness issues such as:

  • Dry Eye
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD)
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
  • Neurotrophic Keratitis

 

During the initial exam, Dr. Foster will conduct a comprehensive health evaluation of your eyes and an OCT scan is done to map out the shape of your eyes. After that, training is conducted on the proper technique to insert and take out the lenses. Once the prescriptions for the lenses has been finalized, they are sent to the lab for production along with your custom eye measurements.  Our Scleral Contact Lenses are usually available for pick-up within 3-5 days.

It can take some practice to become proficient at putting in and taking out Scleral Contact Lenses, but our staff is trained to help you. We will make sure you are confident in your ability to use these contacts before you leave. Here is a helpful video on how to properly insert and remove scleral lenses.

https://youtu.be/P0xO9bZsTnU

 

Gas Permeable Contact Lenses (RGPs)

Gas Permeable Contact Lenses (RGP) have been available in the United States since 1978, and they are a good option for patients with more complex or difficult prescriptions or those who require really precise vision. If you have keratoconus and cannot see as clearly as you would like to with eyeglasses or soft contact lenses, you typically will see better if you are fitted with contact lenses specially designed for irregular corneas. Keratoconus is when the cornea thins out and bulges like a cone. Changing the shape of the cornea brings light rays out of focus. As a result, your vision is blurry and distorted, making daily tasks like reading or driving difficult. RGPs for keratoconus improve vision by optically replacing the irregular shape of the cornea with a smooth, uniform surface that enables light to form a sharper focus on the retina.

Most gas permeable lens materials include silicone, which makes RGP lenses more flexible. And silicone allows oxygen to pass directly through GP lenses to keep the cornea healthy. RGP lenses also provide better vision, durability and deposit resistance for those who cannot wear traditional soft contact lenses.

 

Left: A healthy cornea; Right: A cornea with keratoconus.

 

Training for New Contact Lens Wearers

 

Dr. Kara and her team work with contact lens wearers of all experience levels and ages. For those individuals new to contact lenses (adults and children), we spend as much time as is needed make sure you are comfortable putting in and taking out your contact lenses. Our office provides a quiet, no-stress environment to learn how to properly use contacts.

 

 

Follow-up Exams

 

After the initial contact lens fitting, a follow-up exam is scheduled one week later to determine if the trial contact lenses fit well and you are seeing clearly. During the follow-up exam, Dr. Kara will recheck the fit of the contact lenses and retest your vision with the contacts on. If there are any problems with the contacts, a new set of trial lenses may be dispensed.  Once you feel comfortable in the lenses and Dr. Kara confirms that you are seeing clearly, your contact lens prescription will be finalized.

 

Important Health Considerations while Wearing Contact Lenses

 

The eye is a sensitive organ and is susceptible to irritations that may be caused by contact lens wear. For this reason, it is important to have annual contact lens health evaluations.  Problems that may be undetectable to you can develop into conditions that could cause serious problems including permanent vision loss. It is vital to your eye health to make sure that your contact lenses fit properly, you are wearing them as prescribed, and are allowing enough oxygen to reach your cornea.

 

Schedule an appointment today by calling 919.249.2020 or book online with the button below.