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Providing Hard To Fit Contacts with Our Lewiston Optometrist
Certain patients have various eye conditions which make it difficult to fit them with contact lenses which are comfortable, and which provide sharp and clear sight. At Family Eye Health & Contact Lens Center, in Lewiston, ME, Dr. Reginald Mailhot will provide state of the art contact lenses that are best suited to the needs of “Hard to Fit Patients”.
The Contact Lens Exam
After taking a complete ocular history, visual acuity will be checked using a projected eye chart. Measurements of the cornea will then be taken using a Keratometer to determine the curvature of the cornea. Other measurements of the cornea will also be done using a computerized system to further analyze the topography of the corneal surface.
The tear film will also be measured to check for dry eyes. A Slit Lamp exam will be done to evaluate all the front structures of the eye. The Slit Lamp will also be used to evaluate trial contacts to make sure they are lying in an acceptable position on the cornea. Follow up appointments will then be scheduled to assure proper fit, sight, and comfort.
Why Certain Eyes are Hard to Fit
Contact lenses may be difficult to fit for several reasons. Abnormal structural conditions of the cornea such as keratoconus and astigmatism, ocular conditions like dry eyes and Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) and Presbyopia (problems with near vision after age 40) and post-refractive surgical changes (such as after LASIK surgery) all create challenges that can be successfully addressed by Dr. Mailhot and staff at Family Eye Health and Contact Lens Center in Lewiston, ME.
Fitting Patients with Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea (clear front surface layer of the eye) thins and bulges affecting the cornea’s ability to refract (bend) light so that it can reach the retina (nerve layer at the back of the eye).
Patient’s with Keratoconus usually have a decrease in vision generally in glasses and have difficulty driving at night. This is due to the light from headlights being irregularly scattered by a bulging cornea creating “halos” and distortions. These patients usually cannot see clearly in glasses and require properly fitting contact lenses to drive and work.
Effective contact lenses for keratoconus include gas permeable rigid contact lenses which your Family Eye Health & Contact Lens Center optometrist in Lewiston ME will fit to help flatten the keratoconus cone while ensuring a proper fit.
Other contact lens options include soft lenses, soft lenses with a thickened central zone and “piggyback” lenses whereby rigid gas permeable lenses are “piggybacked” on top of soft contact lenses. In this way, the soft lenses provide comfort while the rigid lenses help correct vision.
Further options include “Hybrid” contact lenses which are constructed with a rigid lens center and an “outer skirt” which is a soft lens and sclera lenses which are large rigid gas permeable lenses that cover the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (white area of the eye) to avoid irritating and scarring the cornea
Fitting Patients with Astigmatism
Astigmatism is an abnormality usually in the curvature of the cornea and rarely in the shape of the lens of the eye. This causes a “refractive error” like myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) which leads to blurry, distorted vision or even double vision.
Astigmatism can be corrected with “toric” lenses which are usually soft lenses but can also be rigid gas permeable lenses. Toric lenses have different powers in different meridians of the contact lenses to correct various astigmatisms.
Other Conditions Treated by Our Lewiston Optometrist
Other hard to fit conditions for contact lenses include Dry Eye Syndrome, Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) Presbyopia and post-refractive surgery (post LASIK).
Dry Eye Syndrome is a widespread problem that makes wearing contact lenses very uncomfortable. The eyes are red and irritated, are constantly watering and produce a “scratchy sensation.”
To treat Dry Eye Syndrome, Dr. Mailhot will fit and prescribe soft contact lenses specially made for dry eyes which retain moisture better than standard contacts.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory reaction caused by a buildup of protein produced in the tears. This leads to the glands of the eyelids secreting substances which cause a filmy coating to form on contacts. Proper treatment usually consists of daily disposable soft contacts or gas permeable rigid contacts which can be cleaned daily.
After LASIK refractive eye surgery, contacts may be needed to treat remaining astigmatism. Toric lenses can be used with gas permeable lenses an option for excessive glare or problems with night vision.
Make an Appointment with our Lewiston Optometrist
Dr. Mailhot and the team at Family Eye Health & Contact Lens Center are poised and ready to assist with all “hard to fit” contact lens needs. Call 207-782-9501 today to schedule an appointment for a “hard to fit” contact lens fitting or visit us at 220 Sabattus St, Lewiston ME 04240.