Types of Contact Lenses
There are two major classifications of contact lenses, soft lenses and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. In general, patients get used to soft lenses a bit more quickly, but once they adapt to RGP lenses, lens comfort is equal between the two types of lenses. Vision is generally better with RGP lenses than with soft lenses, especially for patients who have Astigmatism or need a bifocal correction.
The best way to know which type of lens is right for you is to discuss your vision correction needs, hobbies and work environment with us. The lens that’s right for your friends and/or family may or may not be the best type of lens for you.
Kids and Contact Lenses
One of the most common questions we receive from parents is “When can my child start wearing contacts lenses?” In reality, a child’s eyes are physically able to wear contact lenses at a very young age. The biggest issue is whether or not your child is ready. This means two different things. First, does the child want (on their own) to wear contact lenses? This is important as a child will be very unsuccessful if they are not the ones making the decision to start wearing contact lenses. Second, is the child responsible enough to insert, remove, and care for their lenses all by themselves? How they handle themselves at home will clue you into this. Do they constantly need reminding from you to brush their teeth, take showers, and do their chores or do they show the maturity to be doing these things all on their own? If they fall into the latter category, they will be an excellent candidate for contact lens wear, regardless of age.
Many kids are also very active with sports and other after-school activities. Contact lenses can offer several advantages over glasses during these activities – they don’t fall off, they don’t fog up, they don’t slide around, and they offer improved peripheral vision.
Contact lenses on kids can also boost their self-esteem. Kids can often be harsh on one another and one of the easiest targets is someone who wears glasses. Studies have shown that children who wear contact lenses often have higher self-esteem. This can even result in a better school experience when they become more active in school activities.
Custom Contact Lenses
Every eye is different. While many patients are well served by non-custom contact lenses, many patients see better with improved comfort when they wear custom lenses. These lenses are individually designed with the help of detailed measurements of corneal curvature (obtained with a device called a topographer) and special computer software. These lenses can be designed to correct all types of vision problems, including astigmatism and bifocal lenses.