Contact Lenses at St. Hope Foundation

Blog by Ivan J. Srut, O.D.
Chief of Optometry for St. Hope Foundation

August is contact lens awareness month, so let’s get some of you aware of what we
have here at St. Hope Foundation in the form of contact lenses!

Some of you like to transition between glasses and contact lenses, some of you don’t
like glasses at all, some like to have contact lenses when participating in athletic
activities, and some wear contact lenses rarely, but like to have them available. Well,
we have contacts for all of you!

If you’re under 40, and have any significant correction, we have contacts that are single
vision lenses to correct you completely for distance and near. If you are over 40 it gets
a little trickier! Someone over 40 typically needs one correction for distance, and a
different one for near…in glasses we would make them a bifocal, or progressive bifocal,
to correct their vision. However, is there such a thing as bifocal contact lenses? The
answer is YES! Do we have those? YES!

Bifocal contact lenses have improved over the years, but are not necessarily perfect.
All depends on the client’s expectation or needs, which we can determine when we do
the exam and contact lens fitting. Another option is monovision…one single vision lens
for near, and another for far! This works well for some people, but terrible for others!
Have to try it to know for sure! A last option is to correct both eyes for distance with
contacts, then wear reading glasses over them for computer or near activities or work.

What about those of you that have that rare tropical disease, astigmatism?(It’s really
not, but I get a kick out of the way some people treat it like it is!) 🙂 No problem! We
have toric lenses for you that correct it! We may even eventually have the lenses that
correct astigmatism and are bifocals or multifocals! Ask us and we’ll let you know!

What about the modality to choose? That’s the way the lenses are worn. The two we
promote the most is daily disposable, and monthly lenses. The market seems to be
weeding out the 2-week disposable lenses of the past. With daily disposables you
throw the pair of lenses away at the end of the day you wear them! Minimal or no
solutions needed, no cases, and fresh pair every time, but they tend to cost a little more
since you get more lenses. Ideal for people that only wear contacts once in a while, or
those that don’t want to have to deal with cleaning the lenses, or like a fresh pair every
day! Monthly lenses cost less since there are only 6 lenses per box. They typically do
last the full month, but you have to clean them and take care of them to ensure
longevity! Ideal for people that take good care of lenses. Either daily disposable or
monthly disposable are good for people that wear lenses daily!

For you colored contact lens enthusiasts, there are no longer colored contact lenses for
those of you with astigmatism, or those that would like colored bifocal lenses. We don’t
currently offer these, but hope to in the near future to the single vision non-toric lens

Can you sleep in the contact lenses? The monthly modality lenses typically do allow for
this due to oxygen transmissibility through the lens, and sometimes can be done up to 7
days before they should at least be taken out and cleaned before more wear time. This
may shorten the life of the contact lens, however, as the wear time is increased by
sleeping in them, allowing for protein build up on lenses sooner than if taken out daily.
They could also be lost during sleep by inadvertently rubbing eyes. If you have dry
eyes and sleep in contact lenses they may be very tight around the eyes in the morning,
and uncomfortable as well. In this situation I always recommend having a contact lens
rewetting solution handy for when you first wake up, and any time during the day you
find the lenses feel dry. If you do a lot of near work, like on a computer, you tend to
blink less making the lenses dry quicker so the solution would come in handy!

We have lenses for everyone! At the moment we only do the contact lenses at the
Bellaire location. If you have a current exam(within the past 6 months or so) you can
just come in for the fitting without doing the entire exam over again. There will be a
fitting fee for the examination of the contact lenses and follow ups are included, plus the
cost of the lenses themselves. Make an appointment today!

Until next time…