Soft contact lenses
Contact lenses can greatly improve your quality of life when prescribed correctly – they can address many of the same vision problems as eyeglasses, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
At Oregon Eye Specialists, our contact lens specialists are ready to help you get back to life and to find the best contact lens options for you. Read more to learn about contact lenses at OES
Benefit your health with contact lens eye exams
If you wear contacts, you need regular eye exams even if you have worn them for years. Prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses both contain information on vision correction. But a contact lens prescription also contains fitting information since they are worn directly on the eyes.
To prescribe contact lenses, your doctor will need to check the health of your cornea (the front part of your eye where the contacts rest). If the cornea is not healthy, contacts might not be a good choice for you.
A contact lens eye exam includes a full general eye exam plus specific tests to make sure contacts are right for you. Your contact lens eye exam should include:
- Vision testing, including visual acuity (how well you see detail at a distance)
- An exam of your cornea, the clear front part of your eye where the contact lens rests
- A contact lens fitting
- Instructions on how to wear and take care of your contact lenses, including handling the lenses and using solutions
At your appointment, your Oregon Eye Specialists doctor will also help you find the most comfortable contact lenses that fit your lifestyle. The doctor will check that your eyes are healthy, prescribe the correct fit and recheck your eyes after you wear your new contacts for a few days.
A variety of lenses to fit your life
Doctors can prescribe many types of contact lenses depending on your needs. The main types of contact lenses are:
Soft contact lenses are the most common. They are made of soft, flexible silicone or gel that is breathable, so oxygen can reach the eyes. Soft contacts are usually very comfortable, and come in a wide range of strengths, including correction for astigmatism. You can also get bifocal soft contacts for presbyopia. Types of soft contact lenses include disposable, extended wear (can be worn overnight), and colored contacts.
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (hard contacts)
These lenses are also called RGPs, or hard contacts. They are made from a sturdy plastic that usually includes silicone. Like soft contact lenses, RGPs are breathable so oxygen can reach the eyes. RGPs are smaller than soft contacts and hold their shape when you take them out. They are not as common as soft contacts, but work better for people with certain vision conditions, such as astigmatism or keratoconus.
Bifocal contact lenses
Bifocal contact lenses can be soft or RGPs. They are used to correct presbyopia (the loss of reading vision that happens with age). True bifocal lenses correct both close-up (near) and distance vision in each lens. These lenses are now available to correct astigmatism and in a daily disposable lens.
Another option for correcting your reading vision is called “monovision” or “blended vision.” For this, you wear a contact lens for near vision in one eye and distance vision in the other.
Toric contact lenses for astigmatism
These contact lenses correct two common eye conditions in the same lens: nearsightedness or farsightedness and astigmatism. Ask your doctor if toric contact lenses are right for you.
Except for daily disposables and extended wear contacts, all contact lenses must be removed and cleaned each night. If you sleep in extended wear lenses, be sure to ask your eye doctor how often to remove and clean them.
Schedule an appointment today
Our expert staff at OES can help you find the best contact lenses for you at one of our convenient locations. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!