Our contact lens specialist will put you in the best contact lenses available. The Michigan Eyecare Institute will meet your personal vision needs by offering soft and gas permeable lenses, color-tinted and bifocal contacts at the right fit for you.
Millions of people around the world wear contact lenses – more than 24 million in the United States alone.
Depending on your lifestyle, your motivation and the health of your eyes, contact lenses may provide a safe and effective alternative to eyeglasses when used with proper care and maintenance.
Contacts are thin, clear disks of plastic that float on the tear film that coats the cornea, the curved front surface of the eye. The health of the corneal surface and tear film are very important to your comfort and the clarity of your vision when you are wearing contacts. Contact lenses are used to correct the same conditions that eyeglasses correct:
Many different plastics are used in the manufacture of contact lenses, but basically there are two general types of lenses: hard and soft.
Hard lenses include the PMMA contacts that were first developed in the 1960s but are rarely used today; and rigid gas-permeable, or RGP, contacts. RGP contacts combine plastics with other materials such as silicone or fluoropolymers to produce a lens that holds its shape yet allows the free flow of oxygen through the lens to the cornea. These lenses are more “wettable,” easier to adjust to and more comfortable to wear than the old PMMA hard lenses. RGP lenses may be the best choice when the cornea has enough astigmatism (is shaped like an egg instead of an orange) that a soft lens will not provide sharp vision. They may also be preferable when a person has allergies or tends to form protein deposits on his or her contacts.
Soft lenses are the choice of most contact lens wearers for their comfort as well as for the great number of options available in soft contacts. These options include:
As one ages, correction for near vision is often necessary because the lens of the eye can’t change shape as easily as it once did. The common condition, called presbyopia, can be corrected in one of three ways:
Special uses for contact lenses include “bandage” lenses, to cover the corneal surface and provide comfort after injury or surgery; lenses for infants; RGP lenses, for people with very irregular corneas due to injury or disease and painted contact lenses, to change appearance or reduce glare after eye trauma.
When comparing the price of contact lenses, it is important to consider what services are included. Does the fitting include a complete eye examination and follow-up? Can you exchange lenses during the initial fitting, and is insurance for lost lenses available? If you need treatment for an eye condition not directly related to the contact lenses, such as inflamed eyelids or dry eyes, there may be additional charges.
Lenses that are not properly cleaned and disinfected increase the risk of eye infection. Lenses that are old or not properly fitted may scratch the eye or induce blood vessels to grow into the cornea. Because a lens can warp over time, and the cornea can change shape, the fit of the contact lens and the power should be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Your return visits will be scheduled depending on the condition of your eyes and visual needs. Any eyedrops can interact with all types of contact lenses. It is best to avoid the use of eyedrops while wearing lenses, except for wetting drops recommended by your eye doctor.
Any lens that is removed from the eye needs to be cleaned and disinfected before it is reinserted. Your doctor will discuss the best type of cleansing system for you, depending on the type of lens you use, any allergies you might have, and whether or not your eyes tend to form protein deposits. Contact lens wearers should follow proper lens care practices to prevent eye infection and maintain healthy eyes. Based on the new guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Academy recommends the following:
You may not be a good candidate for contacts if you have:
Choose an eye care professional who is experienced with contact lenses and with whom you can discuss your needs and expectations. Your eye care professional should diagnose and treat any eye problems that may hinder healthy lens wear and be able to correct problems that arise during lens wear. You should examine your own motivation for wanting contacts and your commitment to the care and timely replacement of contacts for the optimal health of your eyes.