What Are Specialty Contact Lenses?

Not every contact lens fits every eye.  In fact, many complications can occur rendering some of the most popular contact lenses useless.  For instance, certain eye conditions such as Keratoconus, Dry Eye Syndrome and Corneal Scarring often fail in traditional contact lenses.  Additionally, patients who have had refractive surgery such as LASIK or RK that need corrective lenses often struggle to see clearly with glasses or traditional contacts.  While these exceptional products often help patients regain their clear sight again, they also can help those with normal eye health who seek optimum vision.  Often, those with astigmatism or those who wish to have bifocal contact lenses make great candidates for specialty contact lenses.

At Vision Care Specialists, we pride ourselves in offering the latest and greatest contact lens options.  Specialty contact lenses include scleral contact lenses, rigid gas permeable (GP) and custom soft lenses.  Dr. Levine is a Certified Wave Lens Designer.  Wave lenses are unique and customized lenses designed for your specific eye using corneal topography data.  The topographer captures over 80,000 data points describing the shape and size of your cornea.  The information is imported into lens designing software thereby creating one-of-a-kind lenses.  In fact, no two lenses are alike, though the lenses are reproducible once designed.  Dr. Levine uses Wave to design GP, Scleral and Orthokeratology lenses.

Scleral Lenses

gp_scleral_001The BIGGEST thing in contact lenses, literally.  Scleral lenses rest on the sclera, also known as the white of the eye.  They are made from hyper oxygen permeable materials so they are safe, and because they “vault” the cornea are extremely comfortable.  The cornea which is the clear dome at the front of the eye is very sensitive.  Scleral lenses maintain a reservoir of saline solution which cushions and bathes the cornea while the lenses are on.  They are often the best choice for diseased corneas, but because they offer pristine optics and comfort, they are gaining great popularity with normal cornea patients as well.  Scleral lenses can correct virtually any prescription including near or farsightedness and astigmatism.  They also work well as bifocals.

From a scleral lens patient:

“I have had difficulties with my eyes for years as a result of RK surgery and astigmatism.  Because of these issues, I had nearly given up on ever having clear vision with contacts ever again.  I had bounced around to a number of different doctors, only to walk away with mediocre vision from the prescription they gave me.  I was so pleased to find Dr. Levine, he knew what I was struggling with from our first meeting.  Dr. Levine took the time to study my eyes and prescribe a contact lens that has me seeing clearer than I have in many years.   I only wish that I had found him sooner!  I can whole heartedly recommend Dr. Levine and his staff at Vision Care Specialists.”  D.G. 3/18/2013

Rigid Gas Permeable

Don’t let the name fool you.  Though GP lenses are indeed rigid, they are not hard.  In fact, GP lenses replaced hard lenses because they are healthier, much more oxygen permeable and more comfortable than their predecessors.  GP lenses offer ideal optics and can be made in any power imaginable.  Like scleral lenses, GP lenses correct near and farsightedness and astigmatism.  They too are an excellent option for bifocal prescriptions.  The lenses are smaller than scleral and soft lenses and therefore have improved handling for certain individuals.  These lenses are completely customizable.

From a GP lens patient:

“I couldn’t be happier with the Wave RGP contact lenses. This vision is absolutely incredible. I see better now than I did with glasses, and it helps me in my work and my photography. I wore soft contacts for about 10 years and the Wave lenses are at least as comfortable or even more comfortable than soft lenses by the end of the day. After my astigmatism got worse over the years, I tried soft lenses again before coming to see Dr. Levine and the vision was just not acceptable. Now I see incredibly sharp and wear these lenses every day 12 hours or more. I really couldn’t be happier with my vision and my experience with Dr. Paul Levine and Vision Care Specialists. I wish I found out about all of this a long time ago!” A.S. 11/25/2011

Custom Soft Lenses

What’s great about custom soft lenses is that they can be made in any power and any size imaginable!  Whether you are very nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism or want to try bifocals, custom soft lenses may be your best option.