Contacts for Special Conditions
Today, almost anyone can wear contacts. The need for contacts can range from a condition called astigmatism to the need for multi-focal lenses. Dr. Belgorod has the experience to determine the correct fit in regards to contacts for special conditions.
Few people have conditions that make them more difficult to fit.
Contacts aren’t recommended for people who:
- Have a history of corneal infections
- Work in an industry where they are exposed to chemical fumes, dust, or dirt
- Have allergies to lens-care products
- Are diabetic
- Are under the age of nine
Contacts for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is an additional curve on the surface of the cornea, or lens of the eye, that makes it difficult to focus. All contact lens manufacturers have comfortable designs for astigmatism.
Multi-focal Contacts (Contacts for Presbyopia)
If you are starting to approach the age of 40 a normal condition called presbyopia can be affecting your vision. There are many options to help against this condition. Presbyopia, or the gradual loss of close-up vision, generally affects people older than 40. And it’s perfectly natural. Watch a video on presbyopia made by the American Optometric Association. It comes with age. The main contacts for presbyopia are multi-focal and monovision.
Multi-focal lenses have two prescriptions on one lens. One part of the contact lens corrects for distance and the other corrects for near vision. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and the other for near focus. Your brain with transmit the correct eye for what you are viewing. This takes time to adjust to.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Many people with dry eye syndrome can’t wear regular contact lenses, because the lens dries up on their eye too quickly. A soft lens was developed to contain a minimal amount of water and it very useful for people with dry eyes. There are also certain contact brands that are designed specifically for people with dry eyes.
People with keratoconus have a thinning of the cornea that causes a cone-shaped bulge. A hard, gas-permeable contact lens is most effective for people with this condition, because it stays fixed on the cornea. There are instances where people may need a layered approached, compiling a soft lens with a gas permeable one. A soft lens sits right on top of the cornea, and a gas-permeable lens is placed on top of it.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis
Giant papillary conjunctivitis is an inflammatory condition in which the eyes secrete proteins. Soft contact lenses don’t tend to work well for people with GPC, because proteins deposit on the lens of their eyes and cloud them over. Hard, gas-permeable lenses also can work because the proteins don’t tend to stick to them.
A condition where the natural iris is absent or has not formed correctly. Cosmetic lenses can be fitted to make the eye less photo sensitive and display a more natural cosmetic appearance.
A visual defect in which the shape and size of an ocular image differ in the two eyes due to uneven prescriptions between the right and left eyes. The resulting magnification error is minimized with a proper contact lens fitting.
Aphakia is a condition where either an individual was born without a lens in the eye or had to get the lens removed due to cataracts. Without a lens in the eye, prescription glasses over +10.00 diopter are required. Wearing a contact lens can be much easier to wear than such a high powered pair of glasses. More commonly an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted following cataract surgery. A contact lens can be used on an eye with an IOL, where the power match was not successful.
Cataract Contact Lenses
A cataract is when the crystalline lens in the eye becomes opaque and can no longer pass light through the pupil of the eye onto the retina. The majority of patients getting a cataract today would have an intraocular lens implanted surgically into the eye. There are circumstances where this not always possible and a contact lens will be required to correct vision. These lenses are typically higher than +10.00 diopter in power and require specialized fitting.
Coloboma is typically a congenital condition where the cornea is often misshapen like a “keyhole”. Lenses are fit that would cover the exposed pupil.
For the correction of corneas with vision distorting scars.
Corneal Transplants, Penetrating Keratoplasty
Cornea transplants can result with eyeglasses working for vision correction, but many times contact lenses are required to correct the resultant irregular astigmatism and sometimes raised graft. The raised graft is the new cornea graft sitting higher than the patients own cornea forming a plateau. Lens Design has engineered a special contact soft contact lens to correct this condition. The lens comes with a back surface fitting that attenuates for both the raised graft and the irregular or regular astigmatism. The front of the lens incorporates any additional prescription requirements.
Bandage lenses are available to protect a diseased or traumatically injured cornea. This type of lens would enhance healing and reduce pain and light sensitivity.
Cosmetic Trauma Repair
Accident victims with a discolored iris from surgery can usually be restored to next to perfect looking with custom fit colored contact lenses. Cosmetic repair of eyes that have been injured in the past can be corrected to give that look that you had been born with. Eyes with irregular shaped pupils can wear contact lenses to hide the defect for a more cosmetic appearance. Eyes that have been turned white from disease or injury can wear contacts with artificial black pupils.
Laser and Radial Keratotomy refractive surgery
In the event that refractive surgery failed to restore optimal vision, there are several different contact lenses that can be used to help. Many times after the surgery, conventional contact lenses do not always work due to the unusual shape that the laser corrective surgery creates. We will custom fit a lens that will be comfortable and will correct problems such as irregular astigmatism and to some degree correct night vision problems.
Neovascularization is a condition where by the white part of the eye grows blood vessels into the clear cornea of the eye from contact lenses that are not fitted correctly or are unable to supply sufficient oxygen. During contact lens wear, the amount of oxygen available to the cornea is reduced. The cornea will adapt to this condition by allowing the blood vessels to grow into the cornea. This condition can cause the cornea to warp and ulcerate upon occasion. Blurred vision and red painful eyes can be the end result. Several contact lens types are available to stop this condition or even have it recede and or disappear. The primary function of these lenses is to allow as much oxygen to transmit through as possible. An assessment needs to be performed to see which of these lenses would be appropriate.
For the correction of corneas that have a cylindrical surface that does not fall on either the vertical or horizontal axis of the eye. Oblique astigmatisms commonly require a custom made contact lens to avoid rotation of the contact lens during wear. More rare are oblique astigmatisms that have a distorted semi cylindrical surface on the cornea as well. The corneas with distorted semi cylindrical oblique surface are often associated with Pellucid Marginal Degeneration.
Pellucid Marginal Degeneration (PMD)
Often misdiagnosed as Keratoconus, PMD is a rare condition whereby the lower cornea becomes thinner and the optic surface of the cornea becomes irregular and the vision becomes blurry. Special contact lenses correct the front surface of the cornea restoring vision.
Photophobia is a symptom of sensitivity to the sun and or bright light. Many patients suffering with photophobia will wear sunglasses even indoors to increase their comfort. Although they are many causes of photophobia, some types can be alleviated with specially tinted contact lenses, thus avoiding the use of sunglasses.
Retinal detachments can be a debilitating event. More often than not, retinal detachment occurs in one eye only resulting in eyes with dissimilar prescriptions. Wearing special contact lens after surgery may decrease the magnification error to acceptable levels.
Superficial Punctate Keratitis (SPK)
SPK is condition noted for many microscopic spots of inflamed or weakened cornea cells on the surface of the eye. The patient is generally light sensitive with irritated or painful eyes. Its causes can be from many different reasons. If caused by dry eyes or allergic conditions, there are many contact lens and cleaning regimes that will greatly alleviate this condition.
Superior Limbal Keratitis (SLK)
SLK in its advance form is marked by splitting of the cornea where it connects to the white conjunctiva at the top of the cornea underneath the eyelid. Many times associated with contact lens wear and allergic conditions can be alleviated with higher oxygen contact lenses and preservative contact lens cleaning systems.
Transient diplopia is when eyes cross and see double from a temporary ailment. Conditions such as thyroid orbitopathy can cause such a condition. Custom contact lenses can be designed to act as an eye patch to prevent one eye from seeing. The lens would be designed with a black pupil to obscure light. This would preclude the need for an eye patch and would be more cosmetically appealing for some individuals. The lens can be worn until treatment has been performed and stereo vision has been restored.